Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 September 2019) . . Page.. 3894 ..
couple of years already. I did not jump to conclusions. I supported the move of the women into this facility, which you euphemistically called a special care centre. This is a maximum security men’s unit. That is what is was built for. That is what it is. It is not special care. That is a euphemism for what you are actually doing here, which is housing women in inappropriate housing.
Two years with no plan for how they will be moved out says to me that it is practically long term. That is a fairly long time. Some people will have come out, done small bits of sentences and gone back into the community and we still do not have a solution on the horizon.
In paragraph 1(d), the minister notes:
… a female offenders framework is currently under development to better support women’s experience in the correctional system …
But how will this stop the catcalling and the yahooing? How will it make that stop? I am really keen to hear; I would be very happy to hear. I would not be talking about this topic if the minister had addressed it. I would welcome the minister addressing it.
The minister states in paragraph 1(e) that the government is funding new programs. But that does not fix the problem. The women do not want to leave the unit because of their experience of walking around the facility. That experience can only be resolved by their not being on the men’s side of the facility.
Paragraph 2(d) of the minister’s amendment states that there is:
… additional fencing, screening and visual barriers to reduce visibility between gendered areas …
I am telling you that it has not worked enough. It has not worked enough. Maybe it is better than nothing, but it has not actually fixed the problem. There is no fix on the horizon for this problem, and it does not fix the problem when they are moving around.
In paragraph 2(c) the minister says that there is a new internal perimeter fence around the women’s compound. The other outcome that the minister failed to mention today, from the incident that happened when the women jumped the fence, is that now they are only allowed into their yard for one hour a day.
Mr Rattenbury: That is not true.
MRS JONES: If that is not true, I will be very glad to hear it, Mr Rattenbury, because that was the case when I asked a question at estimates. It was one hour a day.
In paragraph 2(e) the minister states:
ACT Corrective Services believe this approach continues to provide a more appropriate and secure accommodation than previously considered alternatives;