Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

14 September 2018

Elise Archer, Minister for Corrections

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health

Prisoner discharges

The Government has written to the Secretaries of the Departments of Health and Justice and asked them to examine processes and procedures relating to prisoner psychiatric care assessments and prisoner discharges as an urgent priority.

It is expected that this work will also involve consulting clinical expertise as required.

While there will be a Coronial investigation, it is appropriate that further work is done as an urgent priority to ensure that psychiatric care assessments and prisoner discharge processes are as rigorous as they can be.

The Government has already announced clear action to abolish remission of sentences, and during the last term of Government we undertook considerable work to strengthen the processes and procedures with respect to prisoner releases.

As we said when we announced that we would move to scrap remissions in 2017, this practice is totally out of line with community expectations and Tasmania is the only state or territory in Australia that still lets prisoners out of prison early under remission.

We took the decision to abolish remissions and we were disappointed that we were not able to debate it in the Legislative Council late in the last term.

We have reintroduced the Bill to the House of Assembly following this year’s election and we intend to debate the legislation in the upcoming sittings of Parliament.

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