Inspector’s report bolsters Liberals call for greater mental health supports for AMC staff


Shadow Minister for Corrections Elizabeth Kikkert has called out the ACT Government’s shortcomings in the Corrections portfolio following the release of the Inspector of Corrections report into the broad daylight escape of a detainee from armed escort in July last year.

The report contains multiple instances of communication confusion during the scene and extremely concerning claims that fitted radios in the AMC Camrys have never worked. Even worse, the report makes clear that previous concerns raised by the Inspector were unheeded by the ACT Government.

“It is concerning when the ACT Government disagrees with the Inspector. It is greatly disturbing when the government chooses to disregard the Inspectors concerns when his concerns are rooted in common sense,” Mrs Kikkert said.

“It should not even be a question that, outside of exceptional circumstances, detainees are transported in secure vehicles and not family sedans.

“The decision by the ACT Government not to heed the Inspector’s concerns is deeply worrying, and the consequences of this poor decision were seen all over Oxley Street in July.

“The report also serves as a reminder to the ACT Government of their commitment to explore options such as an on-site PTSD and trauma specialising counsellors to enhance the wellbeing and mental health supports for ACTCS Corrective Service (ACTCS) and Corrections Officers (COs) at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC).

“One of the findings from the Inspectors report was that the officers who were in the car at the time of the ramming felt that existing government mental health support was generic rather than specific to the trauma they experienced during the incident.

“One of the recommendations from the Inspectors report complements my motion in August that specifically called for a trauma specialising counsellor. The government supported this motion.

“I look forward to an update on the progress of my motion and the government’s response to the Inspector’s report,” Mrs Kikkert concluded.