The number of women forced to share facilities designed for 29 women at the Alexander Maconochie Centre has increased more than 40 per cent over the past four months, Shadow Minister for Women and Corrections Giulia Jones said today.
“In a humiliating display of the government’s short-sightedness, it was revealed in Estimates Hearings that the AMC has been forced to house up to 45 women in facilities designed for 29, up from 32 in February this year,” Mrs Jones said.
“I am amazed that Corrections Minister Shane Rattenbury has known there is a shortage of beds since February and yet the government has allowed the number of women to reach up to 45 without a corresponding plan of action to permanently expand the women’s facilities at the prison.
“In the hearings, government officials confirmed current makeshift arrangements that included housing women in the management unit (14 beds) and the health centre (four beds).
“The Minister is now investigating whether to house women in an area of the men’s side of the prison. The whole response is a shambles
“When will the government start acting properly for women housed in detention in the ACT?
“Minister Rattenbury’s slow attempt to plan for the housing needs of women in detention is a disgrace,” Mrs Jones concluded.