Page 4190 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013

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The people who perhaps are up on their first offence tend not to be sent to jail in the first instance. They are put into some sort of community program. Alternatives to jail are sought. So many of those people who are in jail generally have a reasonable history by the time they end up in jail. That means that they are in a category that is considered more likely to reoffend.

With those two explanations, I simply conclude by saying that nonetheless we remain committed to seeking to reduce recidivism. That means continually thinking about what programs are being offered and whether they are the right programs for the right detainee group. Those sorts of continual improvements are being pursued by Corrections staff.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, was this increase in the rate of recidivism expected?

MR RATTENBURY: I do not have an answer to that, Mr Coe. When I arrived as the Minister for Corrections it was not suggested to me that that was going to be the case.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, is the directorate’s observation that “the ACT may be expected to have high rates of recidivism” an admission of failure now and in future years?

MR RATTENBURY: Not at all. I think I have just explained quite clearly why there is a sense that the ACT does have some particular challenges when it comes to recidivism. If Mr Hanson had listened carefully to my first answer, or in committee where we gave a similar explanation just two weeks ago, I think he would understand there is actually a nuanced position there, a position that acknowledges that these are complex individuals; they are challenging individuals. In being forthright about the fact that some of them are going to be difficult to keep out of jail, Mr Hanson’s simplistic response reflects much more on him than it does on Corrective Services.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, when do you expect that reoffending rates in the ACT will be reduced?

MR RATTENBURY: As I have just indicated in my earlier answer, Corrective Services in the ACT continues to work very hard to reduce those recidivism rates, but they are influenced by all of the factors I have discussed in my earlier answers.

Hospitals—Centenary Hospital for Women and Children

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Can the minister update the Assembly on the progress with the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.

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