You won’t believe what prisoners are getting for Christmas…

How’s this for a slap in the face? Inmates at Wandoo Reintegration Facility in Perth will be treated with sirloin steaks

How’s this for a slap in the face? Inmates at Wandoo Reintegration Facility in Perth will be treated with sirloin steaks and high tea for Christmas, while their guards continue to fight for a pay-rise.

Wandoo is a minimum security prison for young men aged 18 – 28. It’s one of two privately managed prisons in Western Australian, and is run by Serco Australia.

Serco’s Christmas program includes film nights for inmates, crossfit classes and talent competitions. The Union for West Australian Prison Officers says its not opposed to treating inmates for Christmas, but does question the company’s priorities.

“If Serco can afford to provide sirloin steaks and high teas for prisoners, while at the same time telling staff it can’t afford to give them a proper pay rise, then something is drastically wrong”, said union secretary Mr John Welch.

Prison guards have asked for a pay-rise of 3.75% over three years, whereas Serco has offered as little as 2.8%. A spokesman for Serco has denied these Christmas treats are “special”, instead saying the goal is to facilitate interaction between prisoners and their families.

“Family plays a very important role in reintegration and we support visits over this period, so that residents can see their children, partners, parents and siblings”, he said.

The current budget apparently allows for steaks and high tea, and no extra expenses have been incurred for Christmas. Despite this, Wandoo staff are planning industrial action this week.

Public opinion on these latest revelations is divided. As S Wenden wrote on Facebook, “rant time. Anything other than minimum dietary needs should be earned! Christmas celebration (in prison) should be a religious service, no more or less.” Whilst G Jilecek added, “just wondering how many homeless kids and older citizens (will) go without a dinner on Xmas?”

Where do you stand in regards to this debate? Should a pay-rise for prison guards be prioritised over steaks for the inmates?


  1. Would not happen in my day was a prison officer at pentridge prison in the early sixties,they did it pretty hard then not like prison these days.

  2. Well….its not about being fair, its about being human.
    Of course the guards deserve a pay rise and better conditions! Otherwise who would want to do that particular job?

    • I wouldn’t mind if the Serco guards were doing a good job but they are not. I have lost count of the amount of prisoners who have escaped because of Serco guards.

  3. Wandoo Reintegration Facility is a minimum security jail, but no matter what the status of it, there are many Pensioners and families who won’t be able to afford a decent Christmas dinner and many homeless who will have no dinner at all. If they can afford to feed the inmates steak and not pay their staff correctly, perhaps the Government is paying Serco to much

  4. Maybe the get fed crap the rest of the time. But we don’t eat steak very often as we can’t afford it

  5. That is so wrong , charities have had funding cut and are begging for help to try give people some sort of Christmas while the prisoners eat steak !!

  6. I’d hardly call a steak at Christmas ‘pay’. They don’t have their freedom and this is the beginning of the price they pay for their crime. Add to this is loss of family and community and many choices for the future where convictions impact for life. I won’t be having steak for Christmas but I don;t begrudge prisoners in this facility this small comfort.

    • Merlene they were not put in jail for being good boys, they committed crimes and the courts put them there

    • Stuff them,they are the ones that have put themselves in this position, tell the victims of all the crimes they performed they deserve steak & see how they feel about,

    • do the crime, serve the time, what will this teach them beside crime does pay? they should be giving a basic meal

    • How times have changed, the Convicts who were sent to this country for life and worked in chains and were beaten, were only fed bread and water and the basics for life while they helped to build Australia. Today we give them minor sentences for sometimes serious crimes and want to feed them steak !!

    • They do not deserve anything but the basics . They should have thought of that before they decided to break the law . Fools .

    • Merlene, convicted criminals these days get treated like bloody kings, they have all the creature comforts some people can’t afford. Why is it that they get treated better than PENSIONERS?

    • I am an aged pensioner who previously worked in the justice system. Despite the media hype, prison is never a bed of roses, nor is it designed to be. I have also been the victim of a crime of the severest kind yet I’m not so bitter or judgemental that I’d want to see any person punished beyond that which the court decrees. Why begrudge them a steak? They could probably do with the iron.

    • If you worked in the justice system, you will know hat being a prison guard is a dangerous job, they should be paid correctly before these criminal are given steak, if they need iron give them a sausage, that is what pensioner are eating

    • When I think of all the people who will go without this Christmas through no fault of their own, this does make me angry. We need to make a prison sentence tougher. They are being punished. Merlene a large percentage of them couldn’t care less, and will return time and time again. I haven’t had steak in many months. I work hard,, and contribute to society. Not bitter not judgemental….BUT DO believe in “if you do the crime, then serve the time”. Taxpayers money could be better spent elsewhere.

    • Our Prison Officers enjoy a range of great benefits including:

      employment security
      flexible working conditions – prisons operate on a 24 hour roster system, 7 days a week
      generous leave entitlements including:
      5 or 6 weeks annual leave
      personal leave
      parental leave (paid and unpaid)
      study leave
      long service leave after 7 years
      purchased leave
      salary for Prison Officers on shift work: $70,777 – $82,687 per annum plus superannuation
      opportunities for promotion and career development
      supplied uniforms
      regional incentives including a regional incentive allowance of $2124 or $4248 per annum paid fortnightly (depending on the location)

      I Not to be sneezed at.

      • Neta Williams  

        I do not know what prison this Marlene worked in but my late husband was a prison officer and he did not earn anywhere near what she has stated. The prisoners of today have everything they could possibly want Tv gyms 3 feeds a day and much more. All this for commiting a crime. It is a joke

    • If they didnt do the crime they would not be there. Don’t expect the public to feel sorry for them .

    • Prison is also about rehabilitation, something that’s almost impossible in an uncaring and judgemental society.

    • Trish Daley dont be ignorant the lady has worked in the system ..HAVE YOU .. bet if your child was in there you would not be ranting like this

    • No Graeme I haven’t worked in the prison system however I worked with a man and a women who both worked in the prison system and believe me by what they told us who worked with them their jobs were no walk in the park, and if they were so well paid for the job they did there would be no way that would give it up to work with disabled kids because our pay was nothing like Merlene claimed these prison guards were suppose to be paid.

    • Graeme Condely I have no family that are prisoners and I am glad about that but I have been a victim of crime and I have no sympathy for these criminals at all and my 3 years old cousin was raped..I can’t forgive things like that ..sorry

    • are they being served with white wine or red? all this is over the top for a lot of those scumbags who destroyed peoples lives during the past.

    • Have you forgotten they are in there as punishment not to be fed better than the homeless,if this company has so much money to spare they should spare a bit for the underpriveleged

    • Beverly  

      big deal – prisoners get a steak once a year! good grief some folks are petty beyond reason. and the guards probably deserve a raise too – but that’s entirely another issue – and a lot more money than one steak dinner for inmates.

    • Rosalind Battles So sorry that you and your cousin had to go through that. I dion;t think we can tell any victim of such an act how to thinkll. I don;t think I would be any different. Personally I think rapists especially child rapists should be tattooed across their forehead they are a rapist so people can show them how they feel about it. Oh and castrate them so they don’t have the equipment to re-offend.
      As for this post I am not sure how I feel about it. If their crime was not serious & you are trying to rehabilitate them so when they get out they are not worse than when they went in. fWhy not give them a steak for Xmas, but murderers and rapists, no let them suffer as their victims & families do every day.

  7. It is so wrong guards need a pay rise, they are in there for doing something wrong why should they have the best of everything.

  8. I’m on the side of the guards. And the tax payers! I believe you have no special privileges when you are in jail.The nursing homes I’ll be visiting have the families round and it’s a few slices of turkey and your usual baked potatoes and veggies. Sirloin Steak! I think not! These guards put up with a lot of tension on a daily basis and their lives are often placed at risk,so that should be taken into consideration when assessing how they are paid.

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