Letter to Hon. Gerry McCarthy MLA from Priscilla Collins Chief Executive Officer North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency NAAJA's response to the New Era in Corrections dated 23 February 2011
Tabled paper 1429
Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled By Gerald McCarthy
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.
This is in keeping with the NILJF, in particular Action 4.2.1a: Increase the number of and access to alcohol and substance abuse related violence prevention services, and Action 4.2.1c: Increase access to community based Indigenous specific alcohol and substance abuse programs for offenders and young people. Currently many Darwin based rehabilitation services will refuse to admit someone with a history of violent offending. This means that a large proportion of high needs offenders are not offered the opportunity of effective community based rehabilitation. Likewise, there is currently no rehabilitation service with specific youth expertise. We note that CAAPS provides a service specific to volatile substance misuse clients, rather than having a specific youth focus. NAAJA draws the Governments attention to the Youth Substance Abuse Service (YSAS) in Victoria which provides a range of services including youth drop-in spaces, detoxification facilities, and two long term residential rehabilitation services, one which is specifically designed to meet the needs of Koori young people. Recommendation 4: Rehabilitation services should be available to regional and remote communities. Culturally relevant alcohol and drug services should be established in regional and remote communities of the NT. This includes residential rehabilitation services, follow up treatment support services, and sobering up shelters. Urban based residential treatment facilities are not sufficient to meet the needs of regional and remote people. For example, if a person from a regional or remote area is going to return to a drinking environment on completion of rehabilitation, the effectiveness of any program will be short lived. An effective service should address the contextual realities of clients. This recommendation is in accordance with Action 4.3.1b of the NILJF: Work in partnership with Indigenous communities and relevant agencies to establish culturally competent treatment services to manage withdrawal, detoxification and rehabilitation in community and custodial settings'. 'Tighter Surveillance Recommendation 5: Surveillance methods, such as anklets, should only be applied to the most serious offenders Electronic surveillance methods represent a very expensive and very intrusive form of surveillance. NAAJA recommends that transmitters only be used for the most serious offenders, and therefore submit that these methods should not be used on people subject to a community based order. This is because transmitters have the potential to undermine rehabilitation by intruding on a persons privacy, exposing them to ostracism within their communities, and allowing for a less engaged approach to be taken by a supervising officer. 6
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