Page 524 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 15 February 2017

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aspects of their lives such as parenting skills, building positive relationships and addressing trauma.

Corrective Services provides programs including self-care for women, focusing on learning strategies to cope with stress and mental health, mental illness and physical health, and out of the dark, which is a program for women who have experienced domestic or family violence. This 14-hour program is designed to help participants identify issues around domestic and family violence as well as identify options and supports available. Additionally, Indigenous women can access the conservation and land management program.

Levels of engagement from female detainees are somewhat erratic on occasions. However, we do see more reported engagement in one-on-one services. This is largely due to association issues within the AMC, not unlike the situation we have with male detainees. Particularly with a smaller population, it is difficult to get critical mass in groups or for group activities.

There were times in the period that I have been the minister where we had as few as nine female detainees at the AMC. You can imagine that by the time a few of them cannot get on with each other or have some association issue, it can be very difficult to structure programs around such relatively small numbers. With the slightly larger numbers those issues change. Nonetheless, they are real issues.

In addition, historically, there is a high number of remand female detainees who are ineligible for criminogenic treatment programs and more early releases mean that there is insufficient time to complete them. By way of example, of the current 30 female detainees, 19 are unconvicted or on remand. That speaks to some issues there.

Certainly in the past, members will recall I have provided statistics on the average length of stay at the AMC. Again, this is a feature of female incarceration as well. It raises the difficulties in getting people into programs. That does not mean we should not try to continue to improve things, but these are some of the challenges that are there.

I note in response to Mrs Jones’s motion that I think she has raised some important points. There are challenges in the women’s area of the AMC. Yes, we do need to dedicate further efforts to meet both these population challenges and to reduce what appears to be an increasing recidivism amongst female detainees in the community.

I have moved an amendment. I have retained significant parts of Mrs Jones’s motion. I am proposing not to agree to sub-paragraph (g), which talks about women being “currently disadvantaged”. I think Mrs Jones has not been clear in the ways that one might measure that. I think that it is not a broad, sweeping statement. I am quite prepared to accept that there are challenges, but I am not quite prepared to agree to such a statement.

What I have also undertaken in my proposed response is to provide an update to the Assembly on progress in addressing the growing female detainee population by the

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