Michelle Lensink

Government Refuses To Release Damaging $700,000 Jail Report

The Rann Government is refusing to release a $700,000 KPMG business report into future jail infrastructure, Shadow Corrections Minister Michelle Lensink said today.

The KPMG report cost the public $700,000 and despite requests from my office through the Freedom of Information Act and calls to Minister Zollo in Parliament we are yet to see the results.” Ms Lensink said.

“The fact that the government does not want the Opposition or the public to know what the KPMG study found, suggests that as previously speculated our prisons are of a third world standard and are continuously deteriorating due to overcrowding.

“Just what is Minister Zollo hiding?

“Our prisons are currently operating at a capacity of 107 per cent and each year the average prisoner population increases.

“In five years the number of prisoners has increased 14.3 per cent, yet no major infrastructure has been established to help with the growth.

“In September 2004, former minister, the late Terry Roberts, agreed that the replacement of the women’s prisons was overdue and that a ‘major restructure of the prison system would take place in the next 12 months.’

“It has been nearly two years since this comment was made and we are still waiting for the major restructure promised.

“What the public deserves to know is how much longer are we expected to wait for the government to provide the public with an answer as to how the future of jail infrastructure will be addressed.

“Ms Zollo needs to stop beating around the bush and provide us with some concrete answers on the standards and overcrowding of our jails.

“It’s all well and good to claim that you are tough on crime, but what about the results of those claims. You can’t turn a blind eye to the state of our jails and expect not to come under any scrutiny as the prison population rises.”

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