Page 4024 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 30 November 2022

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That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Corrections and Sentencing Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 to the Assembly today. The bill makes important changes to ACT legislation and continues the government’s work to improve the administration of corrective services for those in custody and serving their sentences in the community. The bill reflects the ACT government’s commitment to continuous improvement and to promoting a safe and peaceful community in the ACT.

As we are all aware, there are diverse challenges in the provision of correctional services, and various competing priorities to manage. The bill strikes an appropriate balance between offender rehabilitation and ensuring victim safety, as well as the need to uphold the paramount safety of everyone at a corrections facility and maintain the dignity and human rights of an individual detainee.

I acknowledge that the bill is a significant bill and that it both promotes and limits multiple human rights protected under our Human Rights Act. The explanatory statement includes detailed human rights analysis against the Human Rights Act and explanations as to why identified human rights limitations are proportionate and justified in the circumstances.

I note that the amendments in this bill come to fruition following careful consideration and balancing of the human rights of an offender and a victim of crime, and of a detainee and the collective at a correctional centre. The bill contains eight amendments and together they seek to improve the administration of the corrective services system and outcomes for the justice system as a whole.

The bill creates clear authorisation for the entirety of correctional centres to be declared smoke free by the Director-General of the Justice and Community Safety Directorate. Making correctional centres completely smoke free aims to improve health outcomes for both staff and detainees, and work is underway to ensure that the necessary supports are provided to make the transition to a smoke-free environment.

The bill supports the safe and secure custody of detainees and those physically at a correctional centre by limiting the introduction and circulation of contraband, such as drugs or weapons, that can produce a range of potential physical and mental harms. There are several amendments in the bill relating to searches that address this.

The bill also enhances an offender’s ability to move interstate and freely within the ACT by providing a structured framework to allow interstate community-based sentences to be transferred to the ACT and to ensure that minor interactions or infractions of good behaviour orders do not result in potential court sanctions.

Furthermore, the bill streamlines and improves administrative processes and provides legislative clarity in response to modern technology inventions. It achieves this by minimising delays to intensive correction order breach inquiries. It also removes any doubt that it is an offence to introduce prohibited material into a correctional centre by any means, including by remotely piloted aircraft or drone. The amendment to strengthen laws to combat the potential usage of drones to deliver prohibited items to

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