Senate debates

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions without Notice: Additional Answers

Disabled Prisoners

3:05 pm

Photo of Concetta Fierravanti-WellsConcetta Fierravanti-Wells (NSW, Liberal Party, Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | | Hansard source

Yesterday Senator Steele-John asked me a question in relation to disabled prisoners. The matters raised by Human Rights Watch relate to people with disability within the prison system in Queensland. We encourage the Queensland government to look seriously at these issues; however, we acknowledge that the issue of people with disability in the justice system is a complex one for all governments, which requires constant collaboration between the National Disability Insurance Agency and state and territory justice and housing systems, with leadership and expertise from the providers of these supports. The National Disability Insurance Agency will continue working with the jurisdictions on the identified areas of action, noting also that the justice interface is one of the priority areas of the senior officials working group.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme planning for people with an offending history is complex and requires consideration of how all services available, including mainstream services, support the person's life goals and reduce the risk of reoffending or breaching order conditions. Concerns have been raised regarding the extent to which the National Disability Insurance Scheme planning practices are inclusive of critical information on a person's current involvement with the justice system and the subsequent balancing of a person's goals and aspirations with forensic needs, order imposed constraints and community safety. Formal arrangements are required to ensure a person's rights are upheld to share essential information for the development of an appropriate NDIS plan. This should include details on mainstream supports in place to reduce the risk of reoffending and support compliance with an order. In addition, the National Disability Insurance Agency is currently developing a tailored pathway for participants with complex needs, and state and territory senior officials have been provided opportunities to attend tailored pathway workshops scheduled through March 2018. We welcome the contributions of all governments and the sector to this goal.