Important legislation to ensure the appropriate treatment of children and young people in the custodial process has today passed the House of Assembly.
We are getting on with the job of delivering important legislative reforms for Tasmanians, and these reforms prioritise the wellbeing and best interests of children and young people in custodial facilities – in line with well-established human rights standards and principles, and contemporary best practice.
While some searches are required for safety and security reasons to prevent harmful items such as drugs and weapons entering custodial facilities, and reduce the risk of self-harm and harm to others, the practice of routine personal searches of youth has already ceased in all custodial facilities in Tasmania, including police watch-houses, prisons and detention centres.
The Bill supports this further improvement, providing the least intrusive, trauma-informed search requirements and safeguards across all custodial facilities for youth, while also adding extra authorisations and requirements for searches.
The Bill also responds to the Commissioner for Children and Young People’s Memorandum of Advice on searches of children, and importantly, has been developed in close consultation with her. I wish to personally thank the Commissioner for her work and assistance in this regard.
This Bill provides a best practice framework for searching young people in custody, and I now look forward to its passage through the Upper House.
Elise Archer, Attorney-General and Minister for Corrections and Rehabilitation