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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3462 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

One of the criticisms of home detention is that in states where home detention has been introduced it coincides with a reduction in the use of community corrections programs. Community corrections orders in the ACT have dropped over the past three years. The State of the Territory Report shows a drop from 35,344 hours worked in 1996-97 to 25,299 hours worked in 1999-2000. The suspicion is that the more intrusive home detention, and possibly less effective, will take over from community corrections.

Fuelling this fear is a concern that the resources allocated to home detention programs may not remain at levels necessary to ensure case management or through-care. If monitoring and compliance becomes more important than rehabilitation, and support to over-stretched case managers, which we see too many of in Canberra in very many areas of social support, with too many clients on their load-we are used to that story here-then it will simply be a cost-shifting exercise, with people being fed, washed up and clothed at home by their family rather than in prisons by the state.

Case management and through-care are not highlighted in the legislation. The round table explanation of this is that it would depend on resourcing in the department in the future. That to me is a strong case for ensuring that adequate case management and care is there so there is something to hold future governments to. Do I have an amendment to that effect? Of course not; we haven't had time.

In the first briefing I had from the officers of Corrective Services we asked about the fate of community services orders and about the reason for the Belconnen unit being dismantled. Apparently work for the dole programs have competed with the community placements. I have heard criticisms that there is not as much support provided for community placement providers as there used to be, or as there ought to be. It is important that this program does not suffer because of the costs associated with this one.

There are real issues for women as prisoners and as a family of a prisoner. There is the domestic violence issue in the family, there is stress from limited ability to do their work, and there is stress with the family. Will support services for the family and household be provided?

There are the issues of cost of equipment and the user pays component. The sentenced person will be responsible for maintaining a phone connection and for the call costs associated with it. You might be interested to know how many people in this town do not have that facility and how many only have incoming calls.

Post-sentencing reconstruction of life? Studies? We don't have access to any comparative evaluation studies of home detention with regard to recidivism, to the effects on the family, to post-sentence deaths, to post-sentence employment and so on.

We have regulations about dealing with medical records and counselling records. Are practitioners to be authorised by the prisoner to talk with their case manager? The department's explanation of this is that this is how it works for people on community corrections now. The idea is that the case manager has the imprisoned person's interests foremost and can work with them, but the medical records and counselling details of someone in prison are not disclosed to their custodial officers. While their custodial

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