Labor’s continued attack on independent authorities

Elise Archer,Minister for Corrections

The safety, security and health and wellbeing of Tasmania Prison Service (TPS) staff, inmates, and visitors is a high priority for our Government.

Yesterday, I tabled the Rehabilitation and Reintegration Report from the Custodial Inspector. That report relates to inspections undertaken in October 2018, almost two years ago, and makes 39 recommendations with respect to rehabilitation and reintegration, specifically individual case management, offender programs, education and preparation for release and employment.

The Tasmanian Government has acknowledged that report by supporting all but one of the recommendations contained in the draft Report and significant progress on many of the matters referred to in the Report has already occurred since it was received.

Labor has already questioned the independence of the judiciary today, shamefully reflecting on a sentence of the Supreme Court and the decision making of the DPP, and now it seems Ms Haddad has her sights on besmirching the independent Custodial Inspector, by alleging he has left information out of his report.

It is important to remember that prior to the election of the Liberal Government there was no Custodial Inspector to provide advice and monitor service provision. We created the role to be able to continuously improve the prison service – and that is what we are doing.

Labor failed to promise one additional correctional officer at the last election, failed to adequately invest in prison infrastructure, and was responsible for shutting down the Hayes Prison facility.

Under our Government, there has been considerable investment in both staff and infrastructure at the Tasmania Prison Service and we remain committed to addressing challenges within the prison service, committing $350 million towards fixing ageing infrastructure, and increasing capacity through the new Southern Remand Centre and the Northern Regional Prison.

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