Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 (Hansard) 16 May) . . Page.. 1492 ..
APPENDIX 2: Incorporated in Hansard on 14 May 1996 at page 1221.
Ms Follett : How many detainees have lost their jobs as a result of that directive? And how many of the detainees who have lost their jobs were also reliant on the now cancelled "free issue"?
Mr Humphries - The answer to Ms Follett's question is as follows:-
This question and the answer provided below follow on from an answer I gave to a question without notice from Ms Follett in the Legislative Assembly during question time on 18 April 1996. Whilst I answered most of Ms Follett's question I took the above portion of the question on notice.
A detainee held at the Belconnen Remand Centre is provided with all his or her daily requirements - accommodation, food, clothing, basic toiletries, access to medical and other services as required, laundry, access to recreation opportunities and so on.
A detainee requires access to money only if they have special requirements which are not normally provided for by ACT Corrective Services, for example, chocolates/sweets, tobacco, special toiletries and so on, or where they indicate a preference to access an alternative to services provided to them at the facility, for example seeing a doctor of their choice as opposed to the medical officer provided by the Centre.
While the opportunities are limited, there are some small jobs which are available to detainees at the Centre and which will allow them to earn some income. Access to these jobs is not fixed and is negotiated on a daily basis with the detainees held in custody at the time. Priority to these jobs has and will continue to be given to detainees with minimal or nil funds, in preference to those who have ample funds being held in trust for them at the Centre.
No detainee at the Remand Centre has actually lost a job as by definition, no one detainee permanently "own" a job. However, through the review process, the management of the facility are attempting to ensure that the type and availability of jobs is targeted to those most in need of the income.
I should point out that in extreme situations, based on application from a detainee and subject to stringent criteria of need, funds of up to $10.00 can still be made available. However, the automatic access to "free issue" by all detainees, irrespective of their financial status, has been cancelled.