Simon Corbell’s office have emailed out two reports into the operations of the Monaro Marriot (AKA the Alexander Maconochie Centre) following their tabling in the assembly this morning.
First off the rank is the Hamburger report sometimes known as the “Independent Review of Operations at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
While finding much to praise it also has this to say:
The evidence in this Section is that while the AMC compares favourably in comparison with the other prisons in terms of serious incidents in the post commissioning period, significant elements of the good work done by ACT Corrective Services during the pre commissioning stage was not translated into the effective level of service envisaged by the Vision and Objectives for the AMC during its first 12 months of operation.
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The Report identifies the following causes of this underperformance as:
— Lack of continuity in AMC leadership
— Lack of quality recording and reporting systems in place for key performance data
— An inefficient staff roster system compounded by staff absences during the first year of AMC operation
— Restrictions in the range of detainee accommodation available
— Insufficient detainee counselling services and
— The complexity of the detainee disciplinary process.
Also by Knowledge Consulting we have the Provision of Specific Consultancy Services to Review ACT Corrective Services Governance including in relation to Drug Testing at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. This somewhat exonerates the Stanhope Government in the Legislative Assembly while casting ACT Corrective Services to the wolves:
The finding of this investigation is that the Minister and the ACT Government was totally misinformed by relevant public servants about the extent of drug testing of detainees taking place on admission at the AMC.
It is clear from the evidence that in various forms and at different times, the Minister and the Government was advised that all detainees on admission to the AMC were subjected to “baseline” drug urinalysis testing. For example:
— A speech prepared by the department for the Attorney-General in September 2010 refers to “Drug testing of all prisoners on admission?;
— A Question Time Brief dated 11th November 2010 notes that “ACTCS has a urinalysis testing regime whereby all prisoners are tested on admission”. This comment was repeated in two other briefs provided to the Minister in 2010; and
— A media briefing dated 22nd September 2010 noted “… in NSW they do not as a matter of course conduct initial urinalysis testing of prisoners on entry, as has been a long standing practice within the ACT. We do this for all prisoners”.
This advice was clearly contrary to what was occurring. There is evidence that the approved policy and operating procedure that requires all detainees to be drug tested within 72 hours of admission to the AMC was not implemented during the period from when detainees were first admitted to the AMC on 30 th March 2009 through 8th May 2009. ACT Corrective Services cannot provide any documentation or other formal evidence as to why this occurred.
Quite how this is supposed to maintain confidence in the system and its Minister Simon Corbell is a bit of a mystery.
Simon’s holding a press conference at 1pm to explain.