Bumbling Liberals keep getting prison releases wrong

Tasmanian Labor

The Gutwein Liberal Government and Corrections Minister Elise Archer owe Tasmanians an honest explanation about why a worrying number of inmates at Risdon Prison were released before their sentences expired while others were kept locked up after their sentence was finished and they were entitled to be released.

Shadow Corrections Minister Ella Haddad said information supplied by Ms Archer in response to questions by Labor showed seven inmates had been incorrectly released early over just the past four years, while a further four inmates were not released when they should have been.

Ms Haddad said five prisoners were incorrectly released in 2019/20, one the year before and an additional prisoner had been allowed to leave before the expiry of sentence just this year.

Additionally, over the same period of time, four prisoners had been incorrectly kept in the prison once their sentences had expired and they were entitled to be released.

“Ms Archer has ultimate responsibility for Tasmania’s prisons – including the processes around releasing prisoners – and she needs to own up to how this could possibly happen,” Ms Haddad said.

“There have been systemic problems in the prison for years and years now. These have been highlighted multiple times by the Custodial Inspector, in the media and in the Parliament.

“This is just one more example of the system falling into disrepair under this Minister’s watch.

“Part of the problem, Ms Archer will tell Tasmanians, is that prison releases are still handled with an antiquated paper-based system.

“The government has announced a transition to what is hoped will be a more efficient system known as Justice Connect, but she needs to inform Tasmanians when it will be implemented and can she provide a guarantee it will prevent further bungles into the future.”

Ella Haddad MP

Shadow Corrections Minister

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