Government response to Human Rights Audit at AMC

Released 18/08/2014

Minister for Corrective Services, Shane Rattenbury, today tabled the Government's response to the Human Rights Audit on the Conditions of Detention of Women at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC).

The Government supports 35 recommendations and supports in-principle nine recommendations. It has further noted ten recommendations.

"The Government is pleased that the outcome of the Commissioner's audit reveals a positive picture of service delivery for women detainees in the AMC," Mr Rattenbury said.

"In general, the Commissioner found that women detainees at the AMC are treated well in custody and that custodial staff and management are respectful of the particular needs and vulnerabilities of women.

"In a number of areas, including induction, nutrition, clothing, bedding, personal hygiene and discipline, the Commissioner is satisfied that the AMC is compliant with human rights standards.

"The Commissioner found that there were some difficulties faced by Corrective Services in providing a comprehensive suite of services and programs to a small number of women detainees with diverse individual needs and also identified the need for the development of prison industries.

"The Commissioner has made fourteen recommendations which are already consistent with existing practise that has been implemented since the review was conducted but it is also recognised that it would be timely to review a number of other AMC policies and procedures.

"One of the key policies recommended for review, the Women and Children Program Policy, was already well advanced when the report was provided to Government.

"The Government has also provided additional funding for the Throughcare Extension program in the 2014-15 budget consistent with one of the recommendations and support for a Needle and Syringe Exchange Program is an ongoing Government policy and Parliamentary Agreement item.

Overall, Mr Rattenbury said the audit makes a valuable contribution to the work undertaken by ACT Corrective Services to ensure the treatment of female detainees continues to meet human rights standards.

There are seven recommendations which the Government has not accepted, including changes to certain security procedures which could create a safety risk for detainees, visitors and staff.

"Some non-essential recommendations were not considered cost effective or financially feasible at this time," Mr Rattenbury said.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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