Page 595 - Week 02 - Thursday, 16 February 2017

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What this exercise does not undermine is the value of the intensive corrections orders. We have spoken this week about the capacity of the jail, about the number of people who are on remand in our corrections system. That continues to be of concern for the government and for people in the community. Do we have the balance right for the number of people who are on remand and the number of people in the jail?

From a sentencing point of view, an intensive corrections order is one of the mechanisms for ensuring that, for people who have committed an offence and whom the community feel need to be punished in some way for it, it is a way for reflecting that need to admonish the behaviour, in a way that is not necessarily about going to jail but a way that can be focused on addressing the offending behaviour, be that anger management or be that drug and alcohol issues in the form of substance abuse. Having the intensive corrections order option gives greater depth to the response that the judges and the magistrates are able to make.

I think that is a good development that has now been in place for almost a year. We should start to see some more substantive data come through, but certainly the idea behind it, and the early operation, points to the fact that it is achieving the goals that the legislation intended, that is, to provide an alternative sentencing option to ensure that the people who go to jail are people who really should be inside a secure corrections facility, from a community safety point of view; and that those whose reason for offending may be more a bit of a loss of way are given a response that helps them put their life back on track in a way that is productive and helps them get on with their lives, whilst at the same time serving some penalty in reflection of what they have done.

The intensive corrections orders are a valuable addition to our legal system. I hope that the data we will start to see in the near future will reflect that this government is taking a sensible but innovative approach to dealing with offenders in this city. I commend the bill to the Assembly today and I thank members for their support of it.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Supplementary answer to question without notice

Minister for Health—incoming minister briefing

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (12.09), by leave: Yesterday in the chamber, in a supplementary question, Mrs Dunne asked me if my incoming minister’s brief contained information about ACT Health failing to provide data to AIHW and any impact that may have had on the national health funding body’s payments to the ACT.

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