Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 6 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2212 ..
necessary process to ensure that victims are not contacted and/or re-traumatised, and people in the community that do not wish to be contacted by a detainee are protected.
I acknowledge the significant proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees at the AMC. I wish to assure the Assembly and the community that the ACT government is committed to addressing elements of the criminal justice system that disproportionately impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Corrective Services offer a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific programs, services and events to support cultural connection for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees. These events and programs are supported by custodial operations and are well attended and participated in by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees.
The AMC has several culturally appropriate areas, including two yarning circles and a cultural area within the horticultural program, which are used for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees to gather. Corrective Services is currently considering how it may enhance these services by increasing detainee access to them.
In November 2017 I presented a ministerial statement to the Assembly advising members of the planned relocation of female detainees. Due to population pressures, on 28 November 2017 ACT Corrective Services relocated female detainees to a 57-bed special care centre area of the AMC.
Corrective Services acknowledge that the use of the SCC for female detainees is not ideal, but at the time of the relocation this was the only viable option available. When the decision to relocate female detainees was made, a risk assessment was undertaken to assess the impact of the move on female detainees. Winnunga Nimmityjah Health and Community Services were engaged to support female detainees in the move by providing additional counselling sessions.
Corrective Services considered the risk of the potential re-traumatisation of women, and significant works were undertaken to prevent this from occurring. The AMC infrastructure was altered, including the erection of fencing and enhancing the availability of services and supports within the female unit for female detainees.
There has been a significant increase in the availability of purposeful activity for female detainees since the move. A women's and children coordinator position has been created to enhance supports and advocacy for this group. The women's and children coordinator works closely with families of all detainees to mitigate the negative impacts on children of incarcerated parents. The women's care team, comprising a women's case manager and two program facilitators, develop programs and services targeted to the specific criminogenic needs of the female detainee cohort. The availability of unsupervised access to open air and a grassed area has been resolved.
ACT Corrective Services are currently developing a female offender framework to further address the needs of female detainees, to be finalised by the end of 2019. The development of the framework will require consultation and active engagement with non-government organisations and key stakeholders in the coming months. The