Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 1 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 440..
ACT Corrective Services works closely with ACT Mental Health to keep such confinement or seclusion within the CSU to the minimum necessary in each case, as determined in accordance with ACT Mental Health directions under the Prisoner at Risk Policy.
When not secluded for their own safety, CSU prisoners may mingle with each other in the common room and courtyard in accordance with daily routine.
Mr CORBELL (in reply to a supplementary question by Ms Le Couteur on Thursday, 18 November 2010): ACT Corrective Services policy is that the Crisis Support Unit (CSU) is not intended to accommodate prisoners on a long-term basis, but to be used to house prisoners who may be going through an acute psychological episode. The Government acknowledges that the CSU, as a unit within a prison, offers a different level of mental health care than is available in a psychiatric hospital.
ACT Corrective Services works closely with ACT Mental Health and Corrections Health to determine when a prisoner's health needs can safely be met in a normal prison accommodation unit, thereby keeping the length of stay in the CSU to the minimum necessary. ACT Mental Health arrange for the effective transfer of those prisoners who are acutely unwell to the Psychiatric Services Unit (PSU) at The Canberra Hospital under section 309 of the Crimes Act 1900. As well, prisoners can be transferred to NSW Corrective Services under section 26 of the Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act 2005 for treatment in their hospital system if appropriate.
ACT Corrective Services is bound by ACT Mental Health's advice (under the Prisoner at Risk Policy). If ACT Mental health assesses a person as at risk in a way that does not require transfer to PSU, seclusion may end up being of lengthy duration for clinically supported reasons in individual cases, for example where there is an assessed moderate ongoing risk of suicide.