Treatment of women at the prison improving

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THE Human Rights Commissioner has released a report on the treatment of women at the Alexander Maconochie Centre and found things are improving, but there does remain more work to do.

“Rehabilitation services available to women detainees are more limited than those available to men. Women detainees have significantly less access to structured employment opportunities within the prison. Women are also not able to access some facilities male detainees have, such as the Transitional Release Cottage and the Solaris Therapeutic Community (a residential program to address drug and alcohol issues),” the Commissioner said.

“Another area of particular concern is the operation of the Women and Children’s program at the AMC. I also have concerns regarding women detainees with ongoing mental health needs residing in the Crisis Support Unit at the AMC for extended periods. In the past there were some women there for over 100 days.”

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) ACT Branch has welcomed the report.

“We are pleased to see a thorough assessment of whether the AMC is meeting its human rights obligations for women and it’s terrific that there are plenty of areas where the AMC is compliant with stringent human rights requirements,” said ALA ACT President Phil Schubert.

“Less pleasing is that the report identified a massive 61 areas for improvement. The Australian Lawyers Alliance will monitor whether the ACT Government is working to bring the AMC women’s area up to standard in these 61 areas.”

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