Department of Home Affairs Response to PIDC inspection report
Summary of key issues
- The physical infrastructure of the PIDC does not allow for segregation of different groups, which can present a challenge in terms of maintaining security.
- Feedback on staff at the PIDC (particularly medical staff) was generally positive.
- The recent use of mechanical restraints in circumstances where restraints had previously been deemed unnecessary, and without there having been any change in each affected person’s risk profile, may have at times been excessive.
- Accommodation, living areas and exercise facilities at the PIDC are generally small and cramped, with limited outdoor space. In light of its small size and the basic nature of its facilities, the PIDC is not an appropriate facility for people who are likely to be in detention for extended periods of time.
- Facility staff face significant challenges in offering meaningful activities at the PIDC due to the lack of dedicated facilities and staffing limitations.
- There are regular excursions from the PIDC but new restrictions have limited access to excursions for some individuals.
- The Commission did not identify major or systemic concerns regarding the provision of health care at the PIDC.
- The new policy prohibiting all mobile phone use may restrict access to external communication to a greater degree than is necessary to ensure safety and security.
- The Commission is particularly concerned about the circumstances of a small number of highly vulnerable individuals detained at the PIDC. While acknowledging the efforts of facility staff and contractors to ensure adequate care for these individuals, the Commission considers that a detention facility is simply not a suitable environment for managing the care of people with significant vulnerabilities (such as those with complex health care needs).
- Status Resolution Officers are not currently able to provide people in detention with adequate case management support.