Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 22 March 2018) . . Page.. 1015 ..
(2) How many ACT Corrective Services staff members are responsible for managing bookings at any given time.
(3) How are current policies designed to ensure that visits are secure as well as an efficient experience for the visitor.
(4) Is it possible to book a visit (a) online or (b) via email; if not, why not.
(5) Has the Directorate considered assigning visitor numbers in order to reduce the time and resources of completing and processing the paperwork for visitations.
Mr Rattenbury: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
(1) Bookings must be made at least 24 hours in advance, unless otherwise approved by the General Manager, Custodial Operations. The process for booking visits entails the visitor calling a booking line and providing details of the detainee they wish to visit, a preferred date and their contact details in a recorded message. This process ensures that all visits are booked in the order that they are requested. This information, as well as the hours of operation, is conveyed in the recorded message for visits bookings.
(2) There is one person dedicated to visits bookings at any given time, shared between three staff members in the AMC Executive Support Unit.
(3) Policies including the Corrections Management (Visits) Policy 2016 (Visits Policy) ensure that visits are secure as well as an efficient experience for visitors.
Security is ensured by various barrier controls. All visitors to the AMC are required to undergo an iris scan, pass any items to be brought into the AMC through an x-ray machine and consent to corrections dog searches, as required.
The AMC aims to ensure efficiency for visitors by notifying visitors when their booking is confirmed about what to expect when visiting the AMC, and encouraging visitors to arrive with sufficient time to undergo security checks ahead of the scheduled visit time. This information is also available in the Visitors Handbook and the ACT Corrective Services (ACTCS) website.
The Visits Policy, Visitors Handbook and ACTCS website all state that a visitor must provide identification, complete a visitor form and undergo an iris scan (to register on the system) at the initial visit.
To expedite visits, visitors are not required to provide identification on each subsequent visit, they are only required to complete the visitor form (for administration purposes) and to undertake an iris scan. All individuals, including staff, who wish to enter the AMC must undertake an iris scan to prove identity.
The purpose of this is to ensure the security and good order of the AMC is maintained by preventing an individual gaining entry to the AMC under an alias or false identification.
(4) There is no current capacity to book visits online or via email. The telephone booking system was initially put in place to guarantee equal access to visits by ensuring that visit requests were processed in the order in which they were received.