Correctional Services Department

November 24 2010

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. T.J. Stephens:

1. That a select committee of the Legislative Council be appointed to inquire into the Department for Correctional Services and report upon—

(a) whether sufficient resources exist for the safe, effective and efficient operation of South Australia's prison system;

(b) claims of bullying and harassment within the department;

(c) claims that correct departmental practices and procedures are regularly ignored by management;

(d) claims of drug use and sales within the prison system;

(e) claims of poor occupational health and safety management in prisons; and

(f) any other relevant matter.

2. That standing order No. 389 be so far suspended as to enable the chairperson of the committee to have a deliberative vote only.

3. That this council permits the select committee to authorise the disclosure or publication, as it sees fit, of any evidence or documents presented to the committee prior to such evidence being presented to the council.

4. That standing order No. 396 be suspended to enable strangers to be admitted when the select committee is examining witnesses unless the committee otherwise resolves, but they shall be excluded when the committee is deliberating.

(Continued from 10 November 2010.)

Hidden_Speech The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (16:56): I rise to indicate the Greens' support for the Hon. Terry Stephens' motion for a select committee. We, too, have some grave concerns about some of the recent incidents that many of us would have heard about in the media with regard to what is going on in our correctional services system. In particular, members would be aware of a woman recently in the women's prison who died after suffering an epileptic seizure. In fact, she had suffered quite a gross and unbelievable situation where she was in her cell and there were faeces on the wall, and she was in that cell while it was hosed down. This was a woman who suffered from epilepsy who died in that cell from epilepsy, and clearly no great duty of care was paid to that woman nor any reasonable reaction given to her medical condition.

I also note that the Greens have had expressions of concern from the prison health sector as well about bullying and intimidation within the correctional services system. We would like to see this inquiry take a look at that, and we will be happy to pass that information on to the committee. In particular, we have had concerns raised about inappropriate purchases of equipment that were unnecessary and a culture of harassment and bullying that meant there was an unnecessarily high attrition level of staff. We would hope that these issues were not rife throughout the system and that perhaps they were one-off examples. As I said, we will be happy to pass that information on to the committee for its deliberation. We look forward to the report.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. J.M. Gazzola.

The Hon. J.M. GAZZOLA: Mr President, I draw your attention to the state of the council.

A quorum having been formed:

The PRESIDENT: I remind honourable members that if they are in their office they should be listening to the council proceedings so that they will know when they are about to speak and can make their way to the chamber, otherwise we will start skipping over them to finish business. The Hon. Mr Brokenshire.

 

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