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Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT



Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT

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Tabled paper 934


Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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32 the Government maintains its commitment to addressing recidivism and reduce incarceration rates. The Government is working towards finalising a Justice Reform Framework which will provide direction for justice reforms to address these objectives. The Justice Reform Framework will acknowledge that achieving justice objectives requires change across government to address systemic dysfunction; NT Correctional Services implemented or considered strategies responding to a number of aspects in the Report prior to the Report bring finalised and has continued to work towards addressing issues raised in the Report; AGD is operating under significant budgetary restraints, which has required consideration when adopting the recommendations; AGD continues to support the need to ensure that female prisoners are not treated less favourably than their male counterparts; the NT has a very small female prisoner population and the rate is therefore subject to large fluctuations. Nevertheless, the current rate is sitting approximately 30% lower than the rate in 2015. Additionally, the rate of prisoners returning to prison in the NT (male and female) has declined from 62.4% in 2012-13 to 57.1% in 2016-17 (5.3% decrease); and the Monitoring of Places of Detention (Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture) Act 2018 was passed during the August 2018 Sittings of the Legislative Assembly and assented to on 6 September 2018. Work is occurring in consultation with the Department of the Chief Minister and with the Commonwealth towards commencing the Act and, consequently, the monitoring of prison circumstances. The first six recommendations in the Report are broad in nature: 1. The NT Government adopt a whole-of-government approach to reduce offending and recidivism and to promote rehabilitation of offenders, to include: a. a common intent and set of shared objectives to reduce offending and recidivism; b. appropriate governance arrangements, both at ministerial and departmental levels; c. creation and publication of targets and performance measures common across justice, education, health and human service system agencies; and d. improved collection, sharing and use of data across agencies to drive evidence based reforms and improved service delivery. 2. Using justice reinvestment methodology, the NT Government pilot and evaluate local approaches to crime prevention and community safety in disadvantaged communities with the aim of reducing reoffending and increasing community safety. 3. The NT Government, the Department and Corrections acknowledge and publicly promote rehabilitation and reintegration as the primary focus of the correctional system, in the best interests of the whole community in minimising future offending. 4. The NT Government, the Department and Corrections acknowledge the importance of differentiating between the needs and characteristics of female prisoners compared with male prisoners in facility, policy and program development, as well as the importance of addressing the needs and characteristics of individual prisoners. 5. The NT Government and the Department place strategic emphasis on further development of non-custodial options for dealing with female offenders by way of diversion and other programs both prior to entry into the justice system and by providing viable, well-resourced and timely program options for consideration by courts when dealing with offenders.