Custodial Operations is a division of Australian Capital Territory Corrective Services. It consists of the following:
- Alexander Maconochie Centre
- Symonston Correctional Centre
- Court Transport Unit
Custodial Operations administrates the Remand Centres Act 1976 (RCA) which establishes remand centres in the ACT. The Superintendent is responsible for directing and controlling the operations of the ACT adult custodial facilities. The facilities main objective is to carry out the mandate of the court and to ensure the provision of safe care and secure accommodation to those in custody in a controlled environment. The facilities have a responsibility to address a duty of care for each individual, accommodating both genders and a variety of cultures.
Under section 6A of the RCA an Official Visitor is appointed. The duties of this officer involve visiting and inspecting the facilities at least once each week, and inquiring into complaints by detainees.
Periodic Detention Centre
Periodic detention provides an effective alternative sentencing option for ACT offenders. Currently this sentencing option is served on weekends, starting on Friday 7.00pm and ending on Sunday 4.30pm. Detainees make a positive contribution to the community while serving their period of detention by performing unpaid community work. To accommodate the increased number of periodic detainees, ACT Corrective Services is currently investigating the possibility of extending periodic detention to mid-week.
Court Transport Unit
The Court Transport Unit is responsible for transporting prisoners between interstate correctional centres and the ACT; transporting prisoners and remandees (including juveniles) within the ACT; and the provision of safe and secure custody of prisoners and remandees in ACT Courts.
In the past, Custodial Operations was responsible for:
- Belconnen Remand Centre (BRC)
- Symonston Temporary Remand Centre (STRC)
- Periodic Detention Centre (PDC); and
- Court Transport Unit (CTU).
Belconnen Remand Centre and Symonston Temporary Remand Centre
Both BRC & STRC provided secure and safe care of detainees, by delivering programs and providing support services. BRC, which opened in 1976 and closed in 2009, provided long term remand for detainees. In November 2002, operational capacity was increased to 99 beds with the refurbishment of the old PDC to a temporary remand Centre. At the time, this removed the need to seek alternative accommodation through the transfer of remandees to NSW correctional facilities or overnight housing in the CTU. However, the STRC provided only short term/temporary relief for the critical situation facing remand accommodation.
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