Page 627 - Week 02 - Thursday, 16 February 2017
At the AMC the crisis support unit accommodates detainees in immediate crisis while the special care centre holds detainees needing ongoing psychological support. The separate Symonston Dhulwa unit run by ACT Health is available to securely provide longer term treatment for detainees with serious mental health conditions.
I am pleased to report that the ACT government has progressed the capacity for improved data management within Corrective Services. The rollout of the new information management system is underway. This system will not only bolster the ability to capture and retrieve data on rehabilitation at the AMC but will assist in all areas of offender management. The government has also agreed to advance the recommendations for increased oversight at the AMC via the creation of an ACT prison inspectorate. Work is underway to establish this new function.
The government thanks the witnesses to the standing committee inquiry for their evidence. In particular, the government thanks Prisoners Aid ACT for appearing and for their submissions. I take this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution they make, in partnership with government, to provide important services for detainees and their families.
Madam Assistant Speaker, I would also like to briefly address the matter of letters between Corrective Services and Prisoners Aid ACT which were subject to additional hearings on 18 July 2016 and which are annexed to the standing committee report. This exchange of correspondence highlighted the obligations on witnesses, especially government agencies, who participate in committee inquiries.
I can inform the Assembly that recommendations 10 and 11 of the standing committee were addressed in August 2016. Information and training on parliamentary privilege obligations has been provided to ACT government agencies. It is also now included in the whole-of-government executive induction package. This incident prompted mandatory training of JACS executives and senior management on parliamentary privilege, the ACT social compact and ACT public service values and behaviours as they relate to community stakeholders and organisations. This has proven to be valuable, and training delivery will be ongoing.
Recommendation 12 of the report relates to the adequacy of the standing orders. I understand that this matter was raised with the Clerk who has advised it would be brought to the attention of the new Speaker, with a view to taking the matter to the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure for its consideration when it reviews the standing orders.
Finally I thank the JACS standing committee for its report and for the opportunity to refocus on the work, which has been done to date and which is ongoing, for the rehabilitation of detainees at the AMC.
Question resolved in the affirmative.