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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1256 ..

Periodic Detention Centre - Discovery of Drugs

(Question No. 115)

Mr Stanhope asked the Minister for Justice and Community Safety, upon notice, on 24 March 1999:

In relation to the discovery of drugs at the Periodic Detention Centre on 17 October 1998 -

(1) Have investigations of the incident concluded;

(2) Have there been any charges laid since the discovery;

(3) What steps have been taken to tighten security at the Centre to prevent a recurrence of

such incidents; and

(4) Have there been any other discoveries of illicit substances in other correctional institutions

in the ACT in the last three years, if so please provide details.

Mr Humphries

: The answer to Mr Stanhope's question to Attorney General is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) No. The AFP advised that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal


(3) Steps that have been taken to tighten security include the following:

Repairs to the PDC perimeter fence were completed.

Australian Customs Service will attend at the PDC (with dogs trained to detect drugs) when time and resources permit.

The contract for the provision of urinalysis services to the PDC will be reviewed at the end of this financial year to achieve more timely delivery of urinalysis results.

Procedures that have been in place since before the October 1998 incident include:

Detainees are routinely pat searched upon arrival at the PDC, and strip-searched if it is suspected that they may be in possession of an unauthorised item.

Prior to detainees arriving for periods of weekend detention, a thorough search is conducted throughout the Centre and surrounding property. This includes a search of all cells, common areas, yards/gardens and the perimeter fence.

Whenever a substance that is suspected to be illicit is discovered and can be reasonably linked to a particular individual, the AFP is contacted and conducts necessary investigations.

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