Corrections (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2016
The Government is currently seeking feedback on the Corrections (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2016.
The Bill makes a range of amendments to the Corrections Act 1997 (the Act) in order to improve the operation of the Act. Key amendments include the following:
- Clarification that a prisoner or detainee who fails, or is likely to fail, to comply with a condition or restriction of a leave permit can be returned immediately to prison by a correctional officer.
- Insertion of a provision to allow the Director of Corrective Services to charge and recover a fee from a prisoner or detainee where the prisoner or detainee wishes to hire additional equipment or items which are authorised by the Director.
- Insertion of a provision to require correctional officers and State Service corrections employees to return issued equipment, clothing, firearms, ammunition and identity documents upon ceasing employment. Including a mechanism for police to apply for a warrant to enter, search and seize those items where they have not been returned.
- Insertion of a provision to restrict prisoners from conducting a business or engaging in business activities in or from prison without the consent of the Director.
- Insertion of a head of power to allow detector dogs to be used to search all persons, places and vehicles within a prison for unauthorised articles. Including appropriate offence provisions and protection from liability for the Crown, correctional officers and employees and dog handlers.
- Clarification that correctional officers and State Service corrections employees must comply with all orders made by the Director under section 6(3) of the Act and that a failure to comply may be dealt with as a breach of the State Service Code of Conduct.
- Amendment of section 22 of the Act to clarify that a correctional officer or State Service corrections employee who is conducting a search may search a vehicle and may use anything to assist with the search for unauthorised articles.
- Amendment of section 22 of the Act to provide that a State Service corrections employee has the authority to search and seize anything (other than a person) in a prison.
- Insertion of a provision to prevent a prisoner or detainee from applying for the registration of a change of his or her name, unless the Director consents.
- Insertion of a provision to give a police officer the authority to arrest a person without warrant where a police officer reasonably believes the person has committed an offence against:
- section 12 (visits),
- section 15 (exclusion of visitors for security reasons),
- section 18 (visitors to give prescribed information),
- section 19 (Director may refuse or terminate visits for security reasons),
- section 22 (search), and
- the offence provisions under the proposed new section 22A relating to detector dogs.
- Insertion of a reference to a ‘detainee’ for the prison offence of having in the prisoner’s possession anything that is not authorised (prison offence number 18).
- Insertion of a provision which requires that a health official must disclose to the Director all health information about a prisoner or detainee as is reasonably required to meet the treatment, care and rehabilitation needs of that prisoner or detainee.
- Amend the Act to apply certain provisions of the Act to non-citizens detained under the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958 in a Tasmanian prison, so that the prison regime applies to those persons.
The full text of the Corrections (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2016 (pdf, 315.9 KB) is available.
Comments on the Bill should be provided in writing to the Department of Justice by 15 February 2016.
Department of Justice
Office of Strategic Legislation and Policy
GPO Box 825
Hobart TAS 7001