Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3292 ..
Community Services and Social Equity-Standing Committee
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement regarding a new inquiry.
MR HARGREAVES: The Standing Committee on Community Services and Social Equity has resolved to conduct an inquiry into:
(1) The effectiveness of support services for families of people in custody from the ACT with particular reference to:
services to families while the family member is in custody;
support for partners anticipating the return of the other partner from custody, specific support for children anticipating the return of a parent and general support for the family unit anticipating the return of a family member from custody;
services to families following the release from custody of the family member;
coordination of services.
(2) The availability and effectiveness of services to assist young people in the transition from Quamby into the community with particular emphasis on:
coordination and cooperation between the government and non-government sectors in the provision of relevant programs; and
coordination and cooperation within and between the government agencies in the provision of relevant programs.
(3) Any other related matter.
The intention of this inquiry is to identify for the benefit of the government, the Assembly and the community what services we provide for people affected by the incarceration of a family member. We often forget the secondary victim of crime. In an assault, obviously the person assaulted is the primary victim, but often the families of the perpetrator are also victims. We wish to look into what services, particularly emotional and physical support services, are provided for the families who have one of their members in jail.
We are concerned also about emotional support for people anticipating the release back into the community of someone who has been incarcerated. A man going to jail for 10 years may leave behind a six-year-old son. By the time he comes out of jail his son, now 16, has grown up and become the significant male in the family. Having been rehabilitated, the man wants his job back as the significant male in the family. We do not seem to have any support services to help such a family.