ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

ACTCOSS welcomes key recommendations on Justice and Community Safety

20 May 2022

Media Release

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) has today welcomed some key recommendations from the Inquiry into Annual and Financial Reports 2020-21 by the ACT Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety.

The Committee’s recommendations reflect ongoing advocacy by ACTCOSS on issues including the protection of human rights, improvements to our justice system and prison, and the protection of Canberrans from gambling harm. The Committee’s recommendations included:

  • Accelerating the implementation of the Disability Justice Strategy as a priority
  • Ensuring the ACT Government reporting framework can positively demonstrate the protection of human rights
  • Additional measures to better understand and to reduce gambling harm in the ACT
  • Sufficient funding for the Office of the Inspector of Correctional Services (OICS) commensurate with its responsibilities
  • Major improvements to ACT Corrective Services including the inclusion of women and an increase in detainees using the Transitional Release Centre
  • Work to ensure the ACT Corrective Services workforce culture protects the human rights of detainees and support their rehabilitation; and
  • The separation of female detainees on remand from the general female prison population in accordance with human rights principles.

ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell said: “The ACT Government must improve its strategies in supporting the protection and human rights of all, especially those of the least visible and most vulnerable in our community.

“The Committee’s key recommendations reflect ACTCOSS’s advocacy in relation to the Justice and Community Safety portfolio.

“ACTCOSS agrees with the committee that the Disability Justice Strategy is an important initiative but is moving too slowly. Full implementation of the Strategy is desperately needed to respond to the over-representation in the justice system of people with disability.  

“The Committee’s recommendations relating to the AMC reflect long-standing issues. The ACT Government needs to fix our prison. This includes fully implementing the Healthy Prison Review and ensuring that detainees have proper access to health, community, legal and educational services.

“ACTCOSS also welcomes recommendations on measures to prevent and reduce gambling harm in the ACT including services to support Canberrans from non-English speaking backgrounds.

“These recommendations on gambling harm, alongside the Attorney-General’s proposed lowering of bet limits and credit (or load-up) limits, would dramatically improve the lives of Canberra’s families who are impacted by gambling harm,” Dr Campbell concluded.

ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations. Follow us @ACTCOSS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For more information or comment, please contact
Dr Emma Campbell, CEO, ACTCOSS, on 0424 910 617 or 02 6202 7200.