Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 14 February 2008) . . Page.. 326 ..
• Page 16 of the PA ACT Annual Report for 2006-07 states that the PA ACT worked with ACT Corrective Services on the development of a complaints policy for children and young people in custody within the ACT Magistrates Court Cells (court cells). Additionally, the court cells Standing Orders were reviewed, and included the requirement to give young people a copy of the complaints policy when they are held in the court cells.
Copies of the policy and Court Transport Unit Standing Order 22.1.6 Management of Young Persons may be obtained from Ms Kim Hosking a/g Senior Manager, Business and Co-ordination, ACT Corrective Services ph 62070388.
• Any young people wishing to make a complaint under this policy have not contacted the PA ACT. The PA ACT has not been notified by ACT Corrective Services of any complaints made directly to them in relation to this policy.
Any report on this policy will be included in the PA ACT Annual Report.
• Under the functions of the Public Advocate Act 2005 Section 10 (d) acting as advocate for the rights of children and young people, and, as part of acting as advocate for those rights, the PA ACT would conduct an audit of this process.
As reported within the 2006-07 Annual Report, the PA ACT has undertaken to continue to review the services provided to young people, and complaints management within the court cells. In doing so, it is the intention of the PA ACT to work with ACT Corrective Services to reassess and revise the current policy, including the role of the PA ACT to audit this process.
Additionally, the PA ACT will assess the need for, and its capacity to, conduct further research to establish the effectiveness of the current, or reviewed complaints policy.
• The PA ACT report Visits to Quamby Youth Detention Centre PA ACT Report July 2006 – 2007 reports that some young people requested that concerns were raised both anonymously and/or informally; in doing so, the young people raised their concern that if they were identified they may face some consequence or recrimination from staff for making a complaint.
• The ACT Government continues to meet with the PA ACT on a regular basis to review the services provided to young people within Quamby Youth Detention Centre, including the monitoring the rights of young people within the Centre. In doing so, the right of young people to raise complaints, formally or anonymously is reviewed.
• The Children and Young People Official Visitor (OV) and the Public Advocate of the ACT currently visit young people at Quamby Youth Detention Centre to have direct contact with young people, including receiving and handling complaints. Young people are able to discuss issues of concern to them, and to have options explained to the young person, including the options to formally make complaints. Both the OV and the PA ACT will accept formal complaints made by a young person, however, if the young person does not wish to have their identity revealed it is often possible for these complaints to be followed up anonymously.