The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to better protecting the most vulnerable in our community and ensuring sex offenders take responsibility for their crimes and their rehabilitation.
The Sentencing Advisory Council (SAC) has now completed its Research Paper No. 1: Mandatory Treatment for Sex Offenders, as part of its referral from the Government in 2015 regarding mandatory treatment for sex, drug and alcohol offenders.
The Tasmanian community has been appalled at past revelations that serious sex offenders could elect not to take part in any treatment or rehabilitation while in jail.
The Government shares the community concern and has acted on it, with a Bill to amend the Corrections Act 1997 passing the Parliament in 2015 requiring that sex offender treatment to be taken into consideration in parole and remission decisions.
The SAC Paper considers mandatory treatment for sex offenders in prison and in the community, including justifications for creating a mandatory treatment regime and the legal mechanisms that may be used for this purpose.
As this is a research paper it does not provide specific recommendations, but does consider options to expand the current requirements for treatment for sex offenders in Tasmania.
I thank the Sentencing Advisory Council for this important piece of work. The Government will closely consider the observations in the Paper to build on the work that we have already done to ensure that sex offenders participate in appropriate treatment.
A copy of the Report and further information about the Council may be found on its website at www.sentencingcouncil.tas.gov.au.