No. The responsibility for dealing with general complaints rests with the Ombudsman and Official Visitors. Complaints about health, discrimination and disability matters are the responsibility of the ACT Human Rights Commission.
The Inspector of Correctional Services is interested in hearing about issues of a systemic nature that relate to correctional centers and services, and can be contacted via the details on the ‘Contact Us’ page.
The Inspector of Correctional Services Act 2017 (ACT) contains confidentiality provisions that apply to information provided to the Inspector. Personal information may be accessed when undertaking inspections, and may be disclosed only in very limited, circumstances defined in law.
The Inspector must investigate “critical incidents” (as defined in the Inspector of Correctional Services Act 2017) that occur at the Alexander Maconochie Centre and any other place where Detainees may be held in custody. The Inspector must also conduct regular reviews of the AMC and of correctional services provided to and for Detainees.
The Inspector is also expected to identify and review systemic issues that may emerge from a range of sources, including incidents at centres and concerns raised by stakeholders. The aim is to focus on prevention, rather than just be reactive to events after they have occurred.
The Inspector’s role does not currently cover youth justice facilities. However, by November 2019 at the latest, the Inspector’s role will expand to provide oversight of youth justice facilities in the ACT (Bimberi youth justice facility).
The Inspector of Correctional Services currently covers ‘correctional centres’ and ‘correctional services’ in the ACT. These include places where a detainee is held in custody under the Corrections Management Act 2007 (ACT), and may include:
Alexander Maconochie Centre, including the Transitional Release Centre;
court cells at the ACT Magistrates Court, ACT Tribunals and the ACT Supreme Court;
ACT Corrective Services transport vehicles;
a place where a detainee is directed to work or participate in an activity;
a health facility where a detainee is held in custody.
All inspections of custodial centres are conducted against the Inspector of Correctional Service’s (soon to be) published Inspection Standards. The Inspection Standards are based on international human rights standards, and cover matters considered essential to the safe, respectful and purposeful treatment of detainees and prisoners in custody.
The inspection standards specify the criteria for inspection. During an inspection, a number of sources of evidence are used to assess the custodial centre against the standards. These sources of evidence include individual interviews carried out with staff, prisoners and detainees, survey results, group discussions with prisoners and detainees, documentation, and observation by inspectors.
Inspection reports are published in the ACT Legislative Assembly after an inspection is completed. Prior to publication of the report, custodial centre management and the responsible Minister are consulted with and invited to correct any factual inaccuracies within the report.