The Department of Justice has welcomed a review by the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services (OICS) into the transport of regional and remote prisoners in the State.
The review has found that between 2018 and 2021, there were 65,191 transport movements to or from regional prisons, with 26 per cent being inter-prison transfers.
Prisoners travelling locally for external activities, being received into custody from police or courts and for health appointments were the other most common reasons for regional transport.
Corrective Services Commissioner, Mike Reynolds said the Department had a strong commitment to transfer prisoners to regional prisons for family, welfare and on-country cultural recognition.
“Unfortunately, this cannot always be achieved due to security considerations, health, welfare and rehabilitation needs,” Commissioner Reynolds said.
He noted that the review had found there was a range of pre-movement processes that rightly considered the health, safety and wellbeing of prisoners.
“I’m pleased the review recognised that these processes have been embedded into practice and the Inspector observed them to be functioning well,” Commissioner Reynolds said.
“Staff were also found to have a good understanding of the various processes and understood their specific roles.”
He said the review had found that generally, the movement of prisoners was efficient and actively considered the safety, security and humanity of prisoners and staff.
“Whilst the Review was positive in respect of the transport of prisoners, there were several areas identified where improvements could benefit both staff and prisoners,” Commissioner Reynolds said.
“The Department has supported the majority of the 14 recommendations and has commenced the required work, including a review of the transport policy in line with the findings.”