Michelle Lensink

QUESTION ON PRISONS

        The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:26): My question is for the Minister for Correctional Services.
Which prisons are considered high-security prisons?

        The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services,
Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) (14:27): I thank the honourable
member for her question. From memory, we have nine prisons in the state of South Australia, one of
which is a private prison, being the Mount Gambier Prison, and the remaining eight, I am advised,
are under the control of the Department for Correctional Services. Of those, in respect of their
different security settings, it is not as simple as saying, 'This prison has this security rating and this
prison has this security rating,' because there are some facilities that do vary.
Nevertheless, the Adelaide Remand Centre and also the Yatala Labour Prison are the two
principal maximum security prison facilities within the state and then the remainder of the other
facilities graduate down from there, is my advice.

        The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:28): Supplementary question: how are prisoners assessed
when they enter prison and how often are they reassessed over their term?

        The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services,
Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) (14:28): I thank the honourable
member for her question. Naturally, when prisoners come into the custody of the state, there is an
initial assessment that is performed to determine their respective classification and rating. My advice
is that all people, when they come into the system for the first time, do go through a maximum security
facility. Typically, people come through remand, but that isn't always necessarily the case. Obviously,
as I said, the Adelaide Remand Centre and the Yatala Labour Prison are two high-security facilities,
and, almost always, those offenders go through one of those facilities first.

        A process is gone through in terms of initial interviews and screening to determine how the
prisoner will be graduated through the system from that point onwards, and then reassessment
occurs on a regular basis. There might be a number of reasons why someone's reclassification, in
terms of the security rating, will vary over the course of their time within custody and it is also not
uncommon for people to regress in their assessment during their time in custody. For instance, if
they commit another offence while they are in custody or if they are involved in an altercation or an
incident or if they demonstrate bad behaviour, they can escalate back up to a high-security before
coming back down again. There are periodic reassessments that occur during the term of one's
period in custody, and naturally it varies, depending on the individual, the incident, how long their
sentence is and so forth.

        The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:29): Supplementary: can the minister rule out high-risk
prisoners being housed for any length of time in medium-security prisons?

        The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services,
Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) (14:30): I am not entirely sure I
understand the context of the Hon. Ms Lensink's question. If someone is deemed to be high security,
then naturally they are sought to be housed in high-security facilities and then, over time, their
security rating can change.

        Let's take, for instance, an offence that most people quite reasonably would associate with
having a high-security rating. For instance, let's take a person who might have been convicted of
murder who might initially have a high-security rating. It is not necessarily so that that person will
have a high-security rating throughout their period in custody. They might demonstrate behaviours
or might be in a plan that sees their security rating reduced, particularly as they get closer to their
time of release, for instance.

        To say, 'Are there people who have a high-security rating in medium-security facilities?', that
may be the case as a consequence of someone's security rating changing during their period in
custody because of changing circumstances. Like I said, there are other variables: their behaviour,
how long their sentence is, how close they are to release, participation in programs and so forth.

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