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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1451 ..

Questions without notice

Alexander Maconochie Centre—incident

MS LEE: My question is to the Minister for Corrections. Minister, at about 7.30 last night, fire crews were called to the Alexander Maconochie Centre after reports of a riot. What happened?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Lee for the question. I am aware of the incident that occurred last night at the AMC. I want to thank corrections officers, who acted quickly and professionally to resolve the incident. I am pleased that there were no reports of injuries to staff. Corrective Services are investigating this incident.

MS LEE: Minister, have you sought a briefing about the progress of the investigation, and when will you update the community about its results?

MR GENTLEMAN: I was kept up to date during the incident yesterday and received a briefing from the acting commissioner of corrections this morning. As I ascertain further developments and results from that investigation, I will advise the community.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, what was damaged, and what was the estimated cost?

MR GENTLEMAN: Those investigations are ongoing. There was some minor damage to some of the cells from fires. We do not have an estimation of the cost at this time.

Alexander Maconochie Centre—disciplinary action

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Corrections. Minister, those familiar with the prison’s workings have repeatedly said that discipline has been breaking down for years. Corrections officers cannot create a disciplined environment when senior management discourages the use of penalties for things like illicit drugs and shivs. Minister, what is the penalty for inmates possessing shivs at the AMC?

MR GENTLEMAN: There are a range of disciplinary actions that corrections officers are embedded with to be able to use where they find that detainees have committed offences. That is a wide range and it would depend of course on the circumstances at the time. As Mrs Jones has said, these are quite serious allegations and they will be investigated and dealt with appropriately.

MRS JONES: Minister, how many incidents involving shivs have there been at the AMC under your watch and what penalties have been given?

MR GENTLEMAN: I cannot recall that in briefings I have been advised of any incidents involving shivs since I have taken this portfolio, but I will take that on notice and certainly ascertain the number that have occurred.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, what are the benefits of disciplinary penalties in a prison?

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