AFTER an Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) staff member made a “hangman game” using the letters from a detainee’s name, Corrective Services commissioner Jon Peach admitted there are staff at the centre that don’t deliver the professionalism and respect they’re supposed to.
“The vast majority of my staff are highly dedicated and professional,” Mr Peach says.
“However, there are a small number of staff who do not display this same commitment or the level of professionalism, integrity and respect for those in our care that the community should expect from our service. I wish to reaffirm that these people do not have a place in ACT Corrective Services.”
These comments were made after the “hangman drawing” was found in a staff area at the centre and was referred to the Human Rights Commission. The complainant was made by a fellow detainee at the time, and not the detainee depicted in the drawing.
“It is extremely disappointing that one staff member’s action has so significantly undermined the professionalism and reputation of ACT Corrective Services and my staff,” Mr Peach says.
“I acknowledge that this incident is particularly distressing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees and for this I further offer my sincere apology.”
A settlement was reached in the ACT Administrative and Civil Tribunal (ACAT) last week, after which the ACAT and ACTCS have apologised for any distress or harm the drawing may have caused.
“As a society it is our duty to call out this behaviour when it happens and to convey our apology to those who are directly affected by the reckless actions of others,” Mr Peach says.
“ACT Corrective Services is currently undergoing significant reform to ensure that our operations are focused on maximising opportunities for offenders to positively change their lives. A fundamental element of this is the provision of a safe and secure environment where all people are treated with humanity.
“It is my expectation that ACTCS employees act with integrity, decency and respect at all times. This type of behaviour is abhorrent and reflects badly on all those staff that do the right thing every day. There is no place for it within ACTCS and it will not be tolerated.
“Any staff member who cannot meet these basic expectations, should rethink their career with ACT Corrective Services.”