Zed on the prison

By 31 January, 2013 7

Zed Seselja’s having some fun with the atrocious numbers out of the Alexander Maconochie Centre:

The recently released Report on Government Services has exposed the management and running of the ACT Prison, showing it to be the most expensive, most violent and least secure prison in the country, said ACT Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Corrections Zed Seselja.

“The community have been told for years that we should be thankful for this ‘human rights compliant’ prison, even after the false opening and years of security problems. We were told for years the problems would be fixed,” Mr Seselja said.

“This recent report shows these are just more empty promises that ACT Labor is incapable of delivering. The ACT prison in fact has the following very worrying statistics:

    Real Net Operating Expenditure, per prisoner per day is $313.27. The national average is $226.13 That is $87.14 per prisoner per day more expensive than the nearest prisoner.

    Escapes per 100 prisoners was 13.25 – the highest in the country. The average is just 3.1 across the country.

    Assaults in custody, prisoner on prisoner per 100 prisoners was 15.84 – the highest in the country – the average is 8.3.

“This is a dreadful result for the Territory – the prison should be an important part of our law and justice system, instead it is simply the most expensive, most violent and least secure in the country.

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7 Responses to Zed on the prison
#1
IrishPete12:51 pm, 31 Jan 13

What escapes? The Report on Government Services lists just one for ACT. A rate of escapes based on just one is an extremely unreliable measure, and it worries me when politicans are so innumerate as not to notice.

IP

#2
Chop711:34 pm, 31 Jan 13

What were we paying when we outsourced the convicts?

#3
davo1011:49 pm, 31 Jan 13

IrishPete said :

What escapes? The Report on Government Services lists just one for ACT. A rate of escapes based on just one is an extremely unreliable measure, and it worries me when politicans are so innumerate as not to notice.

IP

It better than that: it was one escape from an “open prison” of which the ACT had an average population of 8. Don’t ask me how they got 13.25 ’cause 1/8 is 12.5% (perhaps adjusted for wind assistance?). In secure facilities the number was 0 (shock).

#4
peitab2:30 pm, 31 Jan 13

As IrishPete points out, the reported escape rate is based on one escape. Perhaps Zed (in his haste to publish a media release) should have read the Data Quality Information for that indicator. It states:
“Rates of escape of prisoners and periodic detainees should be interpreted with caution. A single occurrence in a jurisdiction with a relatively small prisoner population, can significantly increase the rate in that jurisdiction, but would have only a minor impact in jurisdictions with larger prisoner populations.”

The same with the assaults indicator – the Steering Committee cautions:”The rates of assaults on prisoners, detainees and staff should be interpreted with caution. A single occurrence in a jurisdiction with a relatively small prisoner/detainee population, can significantly increase the rate in that jurisdiction, but would have only a minor impact in jurisdictions with larger prisoner/detainee populations.
“The assaults indicator is not completely comparable due to differences between jurisdictions in the availability of information that is relevant to the classification of an assault.”

A quick and dirty calculation using the published tables show the raw number of assaults in the ACT was probably in the vicinity of 40, which is at the lower end compared with other jurisdictions.

As for Zed’s crowing about prison expenditure being high – why does he think the ACT performs so well in all of the other indicators? It’s because we’re willing to spend a (very) little money to improve correctional outcomes.

#5
rosscoact2:52 pm, 31 Jan 13

Statistics and liars, sorry, manipulators of data

#6
bundah5:24 pm, 31 Jan 13

Apparently the Productivity Commission warned against making comparisons with other jurisdictions due to the ACT’s small number of prisoners which is based on an average daily prisoner population of 259.If there were 13.25 attempted escapes per 100 prisoners that equates to a total of 34 which is quite extraordinary.Do i smell a rat?

#7
Proboscus7:23 pm, 31 Jan 13

peitab said :

As IrishPete points out, the reported escape rate is based on one escape. Perhaps Zed (in his haste to publish a media release) should have read the Data Quality Information for that indicator. It states:
“Rates of escape of prisoners and periodic detainees should be interpreted with caution. A single occurrence in a jurisdiction with a relatively small prisoner population, can significantly increase the rate in that jurisdiction, but would have only a minor impact in jurisdictions with larger prisoner populations.”

The same with the assaults indicator – the Steering Committee cautions:”The rates of assaults on prisoners, detainees and staff should be interpreted with caution. A single occurrence in a jurisdiction with a relatively small prisoner/detainee population, can significantly increase the rate in that jurisdiction, but would have only a minor impact in jurisdictions with larger prisoner/detainee populations.
“The assaults indicator is not completely comparable due to differences between jurisdictions in the availability of information that is relevant to the classification of an assault.”

A quick and dirty calculation using the published tables show the raw number of assaults in the ACT was probably in the vicinity of 40, which is at the lower end compared with other jurisdictions.

As for Zed’s crowing about prison expenditure being high – why does he think the ACT performs so well in all of the other indicators? It’s because we’re willing to spend a (very) little money to improve correctional outcomes.

What correctional outcomes have been improved?

I thought the point of the AMC was to rehabilitate the prisoners when they are locked away. From what I’ve seen on the news, read in the CT and here, it appears to me that the prison is not doing enough to address their issues and kerb recidivism – and we’re paying top dollar for it.

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