Attorney-General Simon Corbell has announced ACT Corrective Services is going to be raked over the coals by Keith Hamburger AM.
Mr Hamburger’s review will compliment the work he is finalising in relation to his one year review of operation at the AMC,” Mr Corbell said.
“I have requested this review following advice to me from Corrective Services that they have not adhered to stated policy and procedures in relation to drug testing of prisoners on admission to the AMC.
“The procedure of Corrective Services is that all prisoners are tested for illicit drug use, by urinalysis, on admission to the AMC. Advice I have received indicates that this testing has not routinely taken place, while random and targeted drug testing on prisoners has continued.
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“Testing on admission is not done for the purpose of detecting drug use within the prison, testing on admission detects drug usage prior to prison entry. No discipline action results from entry testing, and it does not provide an indication of drug usage within the AMC.
“Admission testing is used to provide baseline data in regard to prisoner drug usage prior to admission.
“Nevertheless it is also clear to me that Corrective Services has failed to ensure it has the appropriate reporting and monitoring checks are in place to ensure that such procedures are being adhered to.
He’s really not a happy chap about this:
“This is a fundamental failure on the part of Corrective Services and the Government is not prepared to tolerate such inadequate and incorrect advice. The Government expects timely and accurate advice in relation to all aspects of Government operations. For this reason I can confirm today that I have directed the following actions to occur.
1. A complete review of governance, accountability and monitoring practices in Corrective Services;
2. An investigation of why procedures of urinalysis on admission to the AMC were not implemented and how the Government was misled about drug testing practices; and,
3. Recommendations on measures to be taken to prevent any re-occurrence of this critical failure.
The problem is that, while this particular failing is news to us, the general failings of Corrective Services, particularly in administering the prison, have been painfully obvious to even the disinterested observer for years now.
In fact after ten years in power it is a shame that the Stanhope Government is only just waking up to the failings of the departments and agencies they were supposed to be responsible for.