Page 5475 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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This means that in developing programs and services, we recognise and respond to the impact of traumatic experiences on young people’s behaviour and their capacity to address issues.

The inspector must therefore have appropriate trauma-informed expertise to ensure that the specific needs of young people are met, including young people with disability. A phased implementation will also provide time for the identification—

At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: A phased approach allows for the development of an inspection framework relevant to youth justice facilities with suitable standards and in consultation with the ACT Human Rights Commission, youth justice experts and other stakeholders. These standards will be human rights compliant, will be consistent with the comprehensive quality assurance system that currently operates in Bimberi, and will complement existing scrutiny and oversight mechanisms.

New and contemporary standards will also take into consideration relevant recommendations arising from the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. The government anticipates that the inspector’s oversight will commence as soon as this additional work is complete.

In summary, the establishment of an inspector of correctional services is an opportunity to build on the ACT’s significant achievements in the youth justice system, as we continue to deliver sustained change, as outlined in the award-winning blueprint for youth justice. This bill supports the government’s commitment to an accountable, transparent and effective youth justice system. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (6.01): I support the amendments which will be circulated by Mrs Jones. Along with the rest of the Canberra Liberals, I welcome greater oversight of our correctional facilities in the ACT, including Bimberi Youth Justice Centre, which, as we all understand, has its own troubled history. The recommendation for the creation of this inspectorate arose out of a tragedy: the death of man who was in the custody of this government. As Mrs Jones has already noted, it is a bitter irony that in a jurisdiction that lacks the death penalty we still have prisoners dying in custody. I genuinely hope this new office will have real capacity to help prevent any more such tragedies.

For this to be the case, however, it is essential that the new inspector be genuinely independent. As we all know intuitively and as numerous experts have repeatedly pointed out, external oversight requires full independence in order to function correctly. I have been in this position for barely a year, but in that short time one of the most common complaints I have heard from a variety of Canberrans is that effective external scrutiny is lacking in this territory. Some of these complaints and concerns have even been raised by those who have been tasked with providing some of this scrutiny.

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