The old courthouse in Roebourne has been put back to use by becoming the new home for Roebourne’s Adult Community Corrections.
The heritage-listed building, which was built in 1886, was severely damaged by tropical cyclone Christine in 2013 and had been left abandoned ever since.
Over the past two years, minimum-security prisoners from Roebourne Work Camp’s Section 95 have been working to restore the building so it can serve a greater purpose.
The new facility will allow the community corrections team to better ensure community safety and make sure offenders are adhering to court orders, post-sentence supervision requirements and other conditions as set by judicial officers or the Prisoner Review Board.
Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan officially reopened the building last week and said the restoration of the old courthouse to once again become a key part of ensuring community safety was a fantastic achievement.
“Not only have Roebourne Work Camp minimum-security prisoners gained valuable skills and experience, the town’s Adult Community Corrections now have a new office with improved security and accommodation,” he said.
The prisoners restored the original timber benches and panelling, completed landscaping and fixed fences, saving taxpayer dollars and providing valuable skills and work experience.
Mr Logan said the restoration got the prisoners to do somethingfor the community.
“It’s a cheaper product for us but most importantly it provided the prisoners with a project to undertake,” he said.
“There are a significant number of highly skilled people who find themselves locked up for one reason or another, so we were able to take advantage of those skills and they were able to apply them on behalf of the community.”
Across the State, 48 additional community corrections officers and managers are being hired to help improve community monitoring of offenders.