Thursday, 6 May 2021

Prison disorder numbers show action is needed

“Figures uncovered by ACT show disorder is increasing in our prisons and action is urgently needed,” says ACT’s Justice Spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“Disorder incidents went from 27 in 2016/17 to 58 in 2019/20. These incidents include arson, taking a hostage, a riot and damaging property.

“When disorder incidents more than double in the space of three short years then you know we have a serious problem.

“At the same time as our prisoners have become more violent, the number of prisoners attending rehabilitation programmes has fallen from 49 percent to 41 percent.

“We should have an expectation that Corrections will do everything it can to ensure prisoners are working to become better members of society while they are serving sentences.

“Kelvin Davis has lost control of the prisons. We have a soft of on crime Government that’s happy to release prisoners, even though rehabilitation is decreasing significantly.

“ACT has also received information that the cost per prisoner has risen by 54 percent in four short years, from $124,461 to $191,463 per year.

“If taxpayers are spending close to $200,000 a year on each prisoner, we should have the knowledge that they are undergoing some sort of rehabilitation to become better members of society.

“We can’t lose focus of that fact that for every person behind bars there is also a victim of crime.

“ACT believes prisoners shouldn’t be eligible for parole unless they complete rehabilitation like literacy programs and driver licensing tests, or if they volunteer to teach these programs.

“We can’t tolerate prisoners committing further crimes while behind bars. We need a new approach where people will improve their lives while they serve sentences, leading to a reduction in recidivist offending and fewer victims of crime.”