New prison industries in the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) are providing more options for detainee employment and seeing fewer detainees return to custody, according to the latest Report on Government Services (ROGS) released today.
Minister for Corrections Shane Rattenbury said 74.7% of eligible detainees in the ACT were engaged in employment, up from 71.1% in the previous reporting period.
“Our focus on providing employment and other rehabilitative programs provides detainees with meaningful skills that they can use in the community,” Mr Rattenbury said. “As a result, we’re seeing fewer detainees return to the AMC—an encouraging trend, given the challenges of an increasing prison population.
“The increase in employment for detainees at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) shows that the Government’s investment in prison industries has provided detainees with opportunities to build skills to help them transition back into the community.
“With the bakery now running at full capacity we should hopefully see further increases next year. This is despite increasing detainee numbers at the AMC.”
The ACT also continues to provide education and training among its prison population, with 70.6% of eligible detainees engaged in education and training, compared against a national average of 32.9%.
‘Return to prison’ (recidivism) rates down
The ACT saw 38.6% of detainees released in 2014-2015 return to prison in 2016-2017, against 44.8% nationally and down from 41.0% in 2015-2016.
“The Government continues to look at other methods of reducing the AMC’s population through justice reinvestment opportunities, improving the rehabilitation of our detainees, and exploring the establishment of a Drug and Alcohol Court,” Mr Rattenbury said.
This work is further strengthened by our commitments in the Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement to reduce recidivism by 25 per cent by 2025.
Meeting the challenges of a growing population
The ACT Government is undertaking a range of work to manage the challenges of an increasing population and its flow-on effects, and look at the needs of the ACT’s growing detainee population into the future.
“As committed in the last year’s budget, the Government has recently undertaken a feasibility study for the AMC,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“The Government’s response to the Moss Review also complements this work. We have committed to implementing transformational change and sharing with the community what we will do differently to continually improve the care, safety and health of detainees.”
Other areas showing a percentage increase are deaths in custody and escapes. The small number of detainees in the AMC means that very small numerical changes in these categories can have a large impact on statistics.
Minister Rattenbury will provide an update to the Legislative Assembly next month on our progress and reforms implemented to date to address recommendations in the Moss Review.
- Statement ends -
Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases
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