Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 August 2018) . . Page.. 3282 ..
Responding to increased detainee numbers and augmenting safety and security at the AMC has not been the only priority for this budget. The bill also provides $6 million over three years to continue the intensive corrections order scheme to strengthen rehabilitation opportunities for offenders. As part of the government’s commitment under the justice reform program, legislation was passed in 2016 to give the courts an option to sentence offenders to an intensive corrections order. This sentencing option provides an alternative to prison by allowing low-risk offenders to serve a term of imprisonment in the community. The 2018-19 funding will allow ACT Corrective Services to strengthen rehabilitative opportunities and enhance services for offenders subject to an order.
In addition, the 2017-18 second appropriation provided $11.6 million over five years to enhance security and safety within the Alexander Maconochie Centre and $6.8 million over five years—that is the JACS component—to introduce the Winnunga model of care at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. ACT Health also contributed $1.6 million over two years to be offset against the health funding envelope.
The ACT government recognises that increasing Aboriginal-led services within the AMC is essential to maintaining cultural connection for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees and improving overall cultural awareness and safety. To this end, a groundbreaking partnership agreement is being developed with Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Services to deliver health, social and emotional wellbeing services within its own model of care to detainees at the AMC. Winnunga has begun delivering services, and this funding will enable their continued rollout to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees who choose to access those services.
The initiative provides continuity of care options for detainees and ensures that health, family and community connections can be maintained while in custody and are sustained post release. It is a partnership which has the potential to be a model for other jurisdictions to emulate in due course and to have a significant positive impact upon the life trajectories of detainees.
Through this bill and its strategic investments the government aims to make the experience of imprisonment one that reinforces the potential for rehabilitation and betterment to the lives of those that have been incarcerated. I am hopeful that by investing in these individuals the government will move closer to achieving its goal of reducing recidivism by 25 per cent by 2025, thereby improving the overall community safety and wellbeing of all Canberrans. I commend these JACS components of the budget to the Assembly.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.53): I commence by expressing my thanks and the government’s appreciation to all the staff who work in each of our emergency services for their continued efforts in keeping the ACT community safe.