DEDICATED CAREER MADE A MARK
The State’s longest serving female prison superintendent, Albany-raised Jan Allen donned her uniform for the last time this week after 32 years of service.
Ms Allen left Albany in 1988 to pursue her first job as a prison officer and tackled many obstacles in her pathway to acting deputy commissioner.
“There’s no doubt that, as women starting at that time, things were tough for a while,” she said.
“It wasn’t just what people thought of us, there were some practical hurdles to overcome as well, like installing toilet facilities for female staff.
“But look at us now, women are running men’s and women’s prisons and they’re working at high levels in the Community Corrections space too.”
After 15 years working in maximum security male prisons, Ms Allen took the helm of the Boronia Pre-Release Centre in Perth.
The centre was Australia's first dedicated rehabilitation and reintegration prison for minimum security women where she worked for 15 years.
In 2018, Ms Allen was one of two prison officers to receive the first prestigious Australia Corrections Medals awarded in WA.
Ms Allen’s legacy will be passed on through an e-learning package she has created for staff to better understand the complex needs of managing female offenders.