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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3464 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

To ease my concerns about the way home detention can negatively impact on family life, I will seek to amend clauses 6 and 24 of the bill. The first amendment is to provide for a prison sentence to include the combination of imprisonment and home detention. This will allow suitable prisoners to be sent home much sooner, and hopefully reintegrate them back into families and society more easily.

The second amendment provides additional safeguards for the family of the prisoner where the home detention is not going well. The requirement for the family to approve or revoke their approval for a home detention order is obviously necessary. However, the way this provision was drafted was of concern to me. Although I am still not completely happy with it, I will be much more comfortable if this change to the clause is adopted.

Overall, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, imprisonment is a traumatic time for any family. Hopefully home detention will make it less so for some. A similar scheme appears to have had a good measure of success in New South Wales, and I see merit in trying it here, so I will be supporting the bill, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, with my amendments.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (11.28), in reply: I thank members for their comments on the bill. It is a difficult piece of legislation. It does have the potential to provide alternatives to sentencing. I think almost all members at one stage or another, whether in an Estimates Committee report or a report from the Justice and Community Safety Committee, have urged the government to look at alternatives in terms of sentencing. I think all of us, as we go about the construction of a correctional facility, have to make sure that we are wary of the net widening and having more and more people incarcerated. If there are alternatives we ought to look at them as far as possible.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, members have raised a number of problems, not so much with the legislation but the concept of home detention, and I share each one of those concerns. We have attempted to address them in the legislation, and we are attempting to address many of them in the regulations. We have given a broad outline of the drafting instructions for the regulations, and I have also committed to members, and I do so again in the house, that when we have those regulations drafted I will circulate them before they are gazetted.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, it seems to me that each step we take down this path is important, but this is not just a step about home detention. As I think Mr Hargreaves mentioned, we are constructing the first stage of the rehabilitation of offenders legislation. This is not just about this particular thing. That is the focus here, along with the parole work, but what we are interested in doing is making sure that we construct a corrections system that is through-care, as members mentioned; one that is about case management and about ensuring rehabilitation, and that things don't just finish when somebody has finished their time of incarceration or deprivation of liberty.

When we talk of home detention we are talking about somebody who has been sentenced. We are talking about a deprivation of liberty. But we also must remember to ensure that the people around them who are affected-Ms Tucker waxed lyrical about this-are protected in the appropriate way. At Ms Tucker's suggestion, we have

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