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Corrections and Sentencing Legislation Amendment Bill

I supported a Bill in the Assembly to amend the Corrections Management Act and the Sentencing Legislation Bill. There were several changes:

The Bill allowed the ACT to participate in community-based sentence transfers all across Australia. This Bill is important as it allows people with a community-based sentence to move should they find work or to be with family who can support them during the time of their sentence.

The Bill also gave the ACT the authority to declare the entire prison a smoke-free zone. It is unfortunate that the government has taken so long to do this given the obvious health benefits to detainees and staff to ban smoking and the obvious dangers of allowing detainees cigarette lighters.

The Bill also recognises the dangers presented by drones delivering prohibited things to the prison. This issue was raised by me previously and builds on legislation I introduced in 2021.

Finally, community corrections officers have been given a degree of discretion in dealing with offences of community-based orders. They can choose not to report minor breaches such as being late for a check in but must still report any breach that would constitute an offence.

The framework for using this discretion is still being drafted. When it is finalised, I will be requesting a copy to ensure the framework is not overly lenient. While there is benefit in being flexible around minor breaches, there is also a danger in making a pattern of not reporting them.

Click on the arrow button to read my speech.


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