Home is no place for convicted drug dealers

The State Liberals will move to amend the Home Detention Act to ensure criminals convicted of serious drug trafficking offences are not allowed to serve their sentence as home detention.

“There are a range of serious offences where home detention should not be an option and serious drug trafficking offences are amongst them,” said Shadow Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.

“Put simply the general public would be appalled that criminals convicted of trafficking hard drugs are being allowed to serve their sentence in the comfort of their own home.

“If a drug dealers offending is serious enough to warrant a prison sentence then that time should be done in prison, not at home.

“I will look at using a range of legislative options, including amending the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act, to ensure a tightening of the use of home detention to bring it in line with community standards.

“The Weatherill Government’s move to use home detention for such serious offenders is a result of its bungled handling of the South Australia’s corrections system.

“In June a Parliamentary committee heard that the number of prisoners in South Australia’s prisons had exceeded 3000 despite the system only having capacity of 2861.

“At that time more than 140 prisoners were doubled and tripled up into cells creating a hostile and unsustainable environment within the prisons.

“That is the situation South Australian prisons will be facing for at least the next four years as prisoner numbers versus prisoners beds will remain extremely tight.

“The fact prisoners on home detention have easily thwarted the home detention monitoring system is another reason criminals convicted of serious offences should not be able to serve their sentences at home.

“Earlier this year it was revealed that prisoners on home detention were using alfoil to successfully ‘mask’ their home detention monitoring devices.

“With an increased reliance on home detention due to prison overcrowding it is vital to community safety that the home detention system is managed effectively.