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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1479 ..

(2) The Cognitive Skills Program run at the PDC is available to both men and women. The BRC offers a course on Assertiveness and Affirmative Action for Women, which specifically targets the needs of female offenders.

ACT Corrective Services established an Indigenous Services and Cultural Diversity Liaison Unit in late 2001, whose responsibility it is to develop culturally appropriate programs for Indigenous and other culturally diverse offenders. The Unit also provides training and support to staff on cultural issues, to ensure that they are better equipped to deal sensitively with detainees from a range of backgrounds.

The Indigenous Liaison Officer at the BRC provides a range of informal programs, such as Cultural Awareness Workshops and Arts and Crafts, as well as general counselling sessions. Indigenous detainees also have regular access to the local Aboriginal Medical Service (Winnunga Nimmityjah), and also receive drug and alcohol services from an Indigenous service provider (Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation).

On 16 April 2002 a Cultural Diversity Liaison and Policy Officer commenced work with ACT Corrective Services. This officer has responsibility for developing a range of culturally appropriate services for prisoners from non-English speaking backgrounds and will also liaise directly with detainees and staff at the BRC to ensure that the culturally specific needs of detainees are met as best as possible.

(3) The BRC does not offer a separate dedicated secure facility for remandees with mental health issues. Remandees entering the Centre with mental health problems are managed within the existing resources. This includes two (2) full-time nurses including one (1) psych nurse and one (1) dual role nurse, who are available to all remandees between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. The psych nurse is also available on-call after hours and on weekends.

All new remandees entering the Centre undertake a mental health assessment with the psych nurse. Remandees assessed as being "at risk" are placed where possible in D Yard, which is a separate six (6) unit complex for the management of detainees at risk of self-harm or suicide. It is staffed by at least one custodial officer at all times and all units are equipped with video surveillance and perspex front walls to facilitate close monitoring. The cameras in D Yard are monitored from two separate locations.

Services for detainees with mental illness include therapeutic interventions, such as medication, review by a visiting psychiatric registrar, supportive counselling and monitoring of treatment, as well as environmental interventions. All detainees have access to mental health services on request. Detainees from different cultural or linguistic backgrounds have access to an interpreter service. Female detainees can request to be seen by a female mental health professional.

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