Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (11 August) . .
An interesting fact that members may be interested to know is that this year 45 per cent of the detainees at the AMC are sentenced to 30 days or less, or spend 30 days or less at the AMC. So in terms of making a significant rehabilitative impact on individuals, having someone with us for 30 days or less does not leave a whole lot of opportunity. By the time you go through the induction process, there is a range of factors—for example, if someone comes to the jail with a drug habit, it takes time to get through some of the withdrawal symptoms—that mean that there is probably not a whole lot that can be done in 30 days.
I certainly reject Mr Wall's comments about recidivism. It was late last night; so if I have misunderstood him, I will stand corrected. But he essentially observed that he thought the recidivism rate was even higher than the ROGS figures suggested. I find that a very odd claim. It suggests that somehow either the Productivity Commission is getting it wrong or he is insinuating that the ACT government is not providing accurate data.
I certainly reject the latter and I would not suggest that the Productivity Commission is getting it wrong. What the data from the Productivity Commission actually shows is that the ACT's recidivism rate has continued to drop over the past couple of years by one per cent, 1½ per cent, that sort of order of magnitude. But we have seen it come down from around 44 per cent a couple of years ago.
I have left the figures upstairs on my desk; so I am happy to table them later if members are interested or I will simply give them to members if they want. But they are in the ROGS report if you look at the data. They are now in the high 30s. So we have seen a steady decline over the past couple of years in the ACT's recidivism rate and I expect that trend to continue.
I think the through-care program has been a particularly important part of that. The support for detainees once they leave Corrective Services has been very successful through the through-care program, so successful that nearly 100 per cent of detainees are entering the through-care program. It is not all of them. For male sentenced detainees, it is 97 per cent, 98 per cent; for female detainees and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees, the uptake rate has been 100 per cent across the program this year.
That is a very interesting thing to reflect on because quite a few of those people do not have ongoing parole orders or anything like that. They are simply released. They choose to remain engaged with Corrective Services. I think that is a very positive reflection on the program. You can imagine that the last thing most people, once they have served their time, want to do is hang out with people from corrections. The fact that they are choosing to remain engaged with the through-care program, I think, is a very positive reflection on that program. I think that the drop in recidivism to a significant degree reflects the success of the through-care program.
The government is currently awaiting a formal evaluation of the through-care program. That will provide more concrete and objective analysis of the point I have just made, which is sort of an anecdotal observation or my sense of what is going on. This review
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