Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
Tabled paper 934
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
33 6. The NT Government, the Department and Corrections fundamentally reconsider the approach to custody of female prisoners, with an emphasis on decentralisation, community and family support, ensuring that security matches the actual risk they present and providing an environment that facilitates rehabilitation and reintegration, including viable, well-resourced and timely accommodation and program options. In its September 2018 update, AGD advised generally in relation to those six recommendations: The NT Government has a number of inter-related policy reforms that address the broader social issues which impact upon the justice system. These include the: Starting Early for a Better Future: Early Childhood Development in the Northern Territory 2018-2028; Safe, Thriving and Connected: Generational Change for Children and Families 2018-2023; Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Reduction Framework 2018-2028; NT Homelessness Strategy; Remote Housing Program - Our Community, Our Future, Our Homes; Education NT Reform Strategy; and Local Decision Making Framework. A Justice Reform Framework is also under development which includes the NT Government's policy commitment to correctional services reform as a priority, including the implementation of the recommendations into the management of women in correctional centres. Strengthening systems to ensure appropriate data sharing and use of data as well as good governance structures also form part of the priority commitments in the Framework. The reform principles of the Justice Reform Framework will include use of evidence, collaboration, focus on rehabilitation measures and improving access to services. The Aboriginal Justice Agreement falls under the Justice Reform Framework and a key principle underpinning the Agreement is to deliver on the government's commitment to reassert local power and increase the role for traditional leadership in the Northern Territory justice system through partnering with Aboriginal Territorians. The Justice Reform Framework will guide the way Government implements reforms in the justice system and will form the basis in addressing the issues addressed through all of the recommendations in the report. It is anticipated that the Justice Reform Framework will be finalised in coming months. With specific regard to Recommendation 2, AGD advised that work is occurring to progress alternative to prison models in partnership with Aboriginal communities. Recommendation 9 is also of general application: 9. Given the overwhelming proportion of Indigenous female prisoners, consideration and implementation of all recommendations be conducted in consultation with Indigenous communities and elders as well as prisoners and other stakeholders. In relation to this recommendation, AGD advised: The Aboriginal Justice Unit is continuing consultations towards the development of an Aboriginal Justice Agreement. A key principle underpinning the Agreement is to deliver on the government's commitment to reassert local power and increase the role for traditional leadership in the Northern Territory justice system. This is also reflected within the Justice Reform Framework under development which prioritises partnering with Aboriginal Territorians including through the Aboriginal Justice Agreement.