Parliament: Questions Kelly's Asked

New SA Home Detention Legislation for Sentenced Prisoners

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Correctional Services regarding home detention.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: On radio this morning the police commissioner said in regard to home detention and I quote:

I have to say I support the notion of people who have committed a crime that doesn’t involve violence, doesn’t put the community at any particular threat that we should be considering what those sentencing options are …

Given this, my questions to the minister are:

  1. Can the minister confirm how many people convicted of murder have been placed on home detention?
  2. Will the minister commit to increasing the number of DCS staff in order to ensure the legislation is able to be implemented?
  3. Does the minister agree with the commissioner’s comments that people convicted of aggravated crime should not be placed on home detention?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety): Thank you to the honourable member for her important question. In regard to the second component of her question regarding additional resources and additional staff within the Department for Corrections to be able to handle home detention, as I have already stated, there already has been an allocation of additional resources to the department to be able to handle the workload that is associated with monitoring of home detention.

Regarding the first part of your question, do I agree that people who are convicted of murder should get access to home detention? Regarding court ordered home detention that is a question that exists before the court. Regarding back-end home detention, which is different to court ordered home detention, there is a ministerial direction in place which expressly prohibits the Department for Correctional Services from giving back-end home detention to those people who have been convicted of murder or terrorist-related offences.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Supplementary: how were murder and terrorist-related acts decided upon as the cut-off point, if you will? What about offences that might include violence, but not murder or terrorism?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety): That ministerial direction was put in place some time ago by my predecessor and has been one that I have retained. I think that it is consistent with public expectation that people who have been convicted of such heinous offences as those should not be receiving access to back-end home detention.