Page 3379 - Week 09 - Thursday, 24 August 2017

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upon year. The findings of the recent evaluation have confirmed the value of this program. I am pleased that it now gets a period of funding over four years, which will provide stability and, in light of the findings of the evaluation, not only continue the success that has already been achieved but also drive further improvement in that program, because the evaluation highlighted areas where improvements continue to be made and I welcome those findings. Extended through-care has been very successful. The numbers of return to custody episodes of clients have reduced, and those returning to custody are remaining in the community for longer periods on average. That is a very significant outcome.

The funding in the 2017-18 budget provides for a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander transitional coordination officer. This officer will deliver targeted support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees exiting the AMC and will be required to work closely with families to develop stronger supports upon release. That is an important feature of the extended through-care program going forward.

The budget provides more than $3 million over four years going forward to implement the recommendations of the Moss review following the death in custody of Mr Steven Freeman. This is essential work for ACT Corrective Services and, as I flagged in question time today, a high priority for both me and the government. The Moss review has given us important recommendations. The independent oversight group is following the implementation of those very closely. I am scheduled to give a detailed report to the Assembly in February 2018. I anticipate being able to indicate very significant progress on those recommendations at that time, because there is a strong focus on delivering those outcomes.

There is also funding provided in the budget for the establishment of a new prisons inspectorate to provide strong oversight and make informed recommendations with regard to continuous improvement and best practice within ACT Corrective Services. I anticipate bringing forward legislation for that later this year.

There are a number of other features around corrective services in the budget. I am pleased that we have a new executive director in place for Corrective Services. This brings a renewed opportunity to get going on the next chapter in Corrective Services’ history. We now have a jail that is moving past its infancy. There have been, no doubt, some issues arising. They have been well canvassed both in this place and in the media. I think it would be fair to say that running a corrections system is not an easy thing to do, but it is important that we strive to get it right. Things will go wrong in Corrective Services from time to time. In an environment in which people are there who do not want to be there and people who are conditioned to resolving issues through violence, challenges do arise. Our job is to continue to improve things both proactively and reactively. That is the job that I am committed to doing when it comes to Corrective Services. I look forward to voting in support of this budget at the end of this debate.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (4.18): As Minister for Police and

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