Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3580 ..
program was approved. The TRC policy has been revised to make it more clear to detainees how to access the program; however, there is still a catch. One of the criteria that detainees must meet is a certain level under the incentives and earned privileges policy. This policy does not even exist! How are detainees able to be properly rehabilitated when the policy they need to enter the TRC is a ghost policy? This is unacceptable.
Further evidence that this government is squandering the program is found in the 2021 report on government services, which reveals that just 0.1 per cent of detainees were able to access work release programs. The TRC was a much needed investment for rehabilitation and changing the lives of detainees, but it is barely being used. Sometimes in life, you need to take a step back and see where all the pieces fall. At that time, you should do everything in your power to see things and implement change where it needs to change. The government have been stepping back like an ostrich, thrusting their heads into the sand.
Programs, skills development and education are severely lacking at our prison. The opportunities provided to detainees to engage in further education and training are few and far between. In this city, we have a golden opportunity to improve the delivery of education and programs to better help our detainees reform their lives and succeed outside the prison walls. I believe that all detainees should have the chance to utilise these. Effective education and programs are vital tools for helping to reduce recidivism and change the lives of detainees.
The people who are being released should be leaving their bad habits, bad influences and negative outlooks in the shadows of the prison walls. Instead, over three-quarters of offenders in the ACT are reoffending. This puts public safety at risk, it puts families’ and children’s safety at risk, and it is a disgrace. Inmates need a proper rehabilitation facility for their benefit and for the benefit and safety of all Canberrans.
The future of our prison and those behind its walls is the responsibility of this government. Corrections officers and other staff at the AMC need all the support they can get. This is difficult work that the community does not always see, but it keeps the community safe and I want to thank them for all that they do.
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (11.20): As Minister for Human Rights, I am proud that this budget protects, promotes and strengthens human rights in the ACT. With a robust human rights system, this budget continues to support some of the most vulnerable members of our community. This budget continues to make sure that there is accessible, respectful and empowering assistance available when it is needed.
There are four initiatives that I am particularly pleased to speak about in this budget. Firstly, we are providing more support for victims of crime, with over $7 million in additional funding over four years. By investing in Victim Support ACT, we will make sure that victims of family violence and other violent crimes can access therapeutic support so that they can actively pursue recovery.