Corrective Services Minister Margaret Quirk has disputed reports the Department of Corrective Services is failing to counsel rapists and other sex-offenders through community-based programs.
Describing recent reports as inaccurate and misleading, Ms Quirk said today that all offenders who had begun community-based counselling programs in recent times had either completed the programs or were still engaged in the process.
The Minister said there was a need to train more community-based staff in the delivery of an improved counselling program for sex-offenders.
This new program for sex offenders, which was identified as part of the department’s ongoing review of the effectiveness of its existing programs, is expected to begin in July.
“Until that time, a small number of offenders have been placed on a waiting list to take advantage of the new program,” Ms Quirk said.
“There are no offenders who have been convicted of rape on this waiting list
“There is currently a program running for intellectually impaired sex offenders and there is recognition at a departmental level that existing programs, while sufficient to present needs, can be improved.
“Like every other agency in the State Government, there are difficulties in getting the right staff to carry out the big number of programs we want to implement.
“This situation is being addressed with a number of ongoing initiatives and programs to attract suitable staff, including overseas recruiting.
“Reports suggesting the State Government is failing to counsel rapists creates unnecessary fear in the community and supports the tactics of a union intent on upping the ante in forthcoming pay discussions.
“The misinformation being recklessly peddled also does not help attract prospective employees to carry out this important and worthwhile work and can only exacerbate the problem of recruiting employees.”
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