On 20 February, the ACT Inspector of Correctional Services released its first review of a correctional service. The report reviewed the care and treatment of remandees at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC).
This review found that although remandees are required under ACT law to be treated as innocent, there is no material different in the way remandees are treated at the AMC as compared to convicted detainees. Key issues identified in the report are restrictions on time out of cells and the experience for women in the AMC.
In relation to women, the report identifies that ‘The 2017 decision to move the female detainees from the women’s community centre to a high security male accommodation block was at odds with the design philosophy of the AMC and recognised best practice concerning the care and management of women in detention. This accommodation:
- Subjects female detainees to a higher level of security than necessary;
- Restricts women’s access to the outdoors due to the fencing around the area and supervision required whilst outside; and
- Exposes women with histories of domestic and family violence or sexual assault to the possibility of re-traumatisation due either to the location, or the necessity to walk past male accommodation areas when accessing the clinic, education and visits.’