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State's Prisons system under the spotlight

Apr 06, 2017

Stephan Knoll MP
Shadow Minister for Police, Emergency and Correctional Services

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State’s Prisons system under the spotlight


The State Liberals will today be seeking answers from Senior Corrections Department Executives about dangerous prison overcrowding, escapes, and prisoners on the run.

The Select Committee on the Administration of South Australia’s Prisons meets this morning, where Executives from the Department of Correctional Services will be asked to give evidence about recent crises in the state’s prisons.

“Correctional Services Officers deserve to work in a safe environment, and yet almost on a daily basis there are new reports of problems with overcrowding in our prisons,” said Shadow Minister for Correctional Services Stephan Knoll.

“It’s little wonder there are problems with the Correctional Services system in this state when the Minister is clearly not across his brief.”

In answering a simple question in Parliament last week, Minister for Correctional Services Peter Malinauskas gave the okay for his department to break the law in relation to the housing of prisoners in police holding cells.

When asked if it was appropriate for a prisoner who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding 15 days to be housed in a police holding cell, Minister Malinauskas answered:

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) (14:55): Where appropriate agreement has been reached between both SAPOL and the Department for Correctional Services, yes. (Hansard, 30/3/2017)

Section 22 (3) of the Correctional Services Act states:

Subject to this Act, a person who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding 15 days must not be imprisoned in a police prison.

“Either the Minister is ignorant of the law that he is entrusted to implement on our behalf, or he is openly giving the green light to illegal conduct,” said Mr Knoll

“We will be asking follow up questions at today’s Select Committee on the Administration of South Australia’s Prisons to ascertain what the real situation is within our prison system.”

Select Committee on the Administration of South Australia’s Prisons

When: 10.30am, Thursday 6 April | Where: Plaza Room, Parliament House 

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