Archer remains in hiding as serious concerns for prison grow by day

Tasmanian Labor

Attorney-General Elise Archer must stop hiding from Tasmanians and address serious and growing concerns over safety at the state’s major prison.

Shadow Corrections Minister Ella Haddad said Ms Archer had failed to comprehensively address critical issues of resourcing and safety in light of yet another report by the Custodial Inspector highlighting an unacceptable situation at Risdon.

“Since Ms Archer was appointed the Corrections Minister in October 2017, the dangerous situation at Risdon Prison has grown more and more difficult by the day,” Ms Haddad said.

“We have now reached a point where there are crucial concerns for daily safety of both corrections officers and inmates with rolling lockdowns, serious shortfalls in the number of trained workers and officers available to staff shifts and an unacceptable lack of access to multiple programs including drug and alcohol rehabilitation – a crucial concern highlighted in a report by the Custodial Inspector released last week.

“Yet, Ms Archer has gone into hiding, other than to release a dangerously disingenuous statement in which she claims the mounting concerns are simply wrong or mis-informed.

“The Minister should be meeting with prison staff and their representatives to get an understanding of what is really happening on the ground.

“It’s unacceptable that Ms Archer is actively declining to address these issues as the situation at Risdon Prison grows more and more precarious by the day.

“The Corrections Minister needs to get out from behind her desk, acknowledge the important concerns of prison staff who have been pushed to breaking point, address the situation and tell Tasmanians what she is going to do to fix it after almost four years of failure on her watch.”

Ella Haddad MP

Shadow Corrections Minister

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