Today’s official opening of the Health Centre and High Dependency Unit at Yatala Labour Prison is a suitable time for Minister Malinauskas to outline the new direction and goals for SA’s prison system.
The State Liberals welcome Minister Malinauskas comments that the Labor Government’s ten years of “rack‘em, stack‘em, pack‘em” strategy in our prisons is over and he will preside over a new, more effective prison system.
“But if he really means what he says, Minister Malinauskas must immediately clarify exactly what improvements he will achieve – what are his goals?” said Shadow Minister for Correctional Services Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
“Currently almost 50% of prisoners return to prison after release – what percentage does Minister Malinauskas think is acceptable? What is his target for the recidivism rate?
“Right now our prison system is bursting at the seams with 2,811 prisoners being held in a prison system on average with official capacity of 2,715 – by what date will the Minister achieve total prisoner numbers below prison capacity?
“There were 280 incidents of prisoner on prisoner assaults – what will the Minister do to bring that figure down and when?
“There were 21 incidents of a prisoner assaulting a corrections staff member – what will he do to bring that figure down and when?
“There were 173 incidents of prisoners abusing or threatening staff members – what will he do to bring that figure down and when?
“If Minister Malinauskas means what he says, he must tell the public when he will get results - otherwise he is just another Labor Minister making promises he has no intention of keeping.”