Monday, April 22, 2024

New support for remand prisoners

Corrections Minister, Mark Mitchell says the coalition Government has taken the first steps to ensure prisoners on remand can access the rehabilitation and reintegration support they need to turn their lives around.  

The number of people on remand has increased by 146% over the past 10 years.

“With almost 45% of the prison population now on remand, the corrections system needs to adapt to support their needs so we can reduce re-offending and keep the public safe,” said Minister Mitchell.

“That’s why, as part of this Government’s 100-day plan, we are taking steps to make it explicit in the Corrections Act 2004 that prisoners who are on remand and convicted of a crime will be provided with rehabilitation that helps address the causes of their offending.”

The Minister says the move will strengthen the requirement for Corrections to provide all remand convicted prisoners with offence-based rehabilitation, including rehabilitation programmes targeted towards violent and sexual offenders. Nearly 1,400 prisoners could benefit at any one time, he said.

“Other amendments include a clear expectation that remand accused prisoners will be provided with reintegration and other non-offence focused support while in prison. Non-offence focused support includes alcohol and drug treatment and educational or behavioural skills programmes,” says Mr Mitchell. 

The Government will be asking the Justice Committee to consider this Amendment Paper alongside the Corrections Amendment Bill that is currently before the committee. 

“We have to make sure prisoners get the treatment they need to live crime-free and this is a major step to achieving this,” says Mr Mitchell. 

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