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Attorney General announces appointment of the Inspector of Custodial Services
23/06/2000 4:27 PM
Attorney General Peter Foss today announced the appointment of Professor Richard Harding as the Inspector of Custodial Services.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce this appointment,” Mr Foss said.
“Professor Harding has more than 30 years of active involvement in corrections in Australia, and will bring to the position a wealth of knowledge and credentials.”
Professor Harding, who will take up his position on August 1, is also looking forward to taking up his new appointment.
“The position of Inspector offers a wonderful challenge,” he said.
“The better a prison system, the greater the likelihood of achieving positive outcomes by way of rehabilitation and reparation.
“Corrections and prison policy has to be seen in a long-term context, and the creation of an independent statutory office to overview and advise upon the system will facilitate Governmental policy development.”
Professor Harding’s long list of credentials include:
Director of the Crime Research Centre which he founded in 1989;
Member of the Australian Law Reform Commission 1984-99;
Director of the Australian Broadcasting Commission from 1988-93;
Consultant to the United Nations on Juvenile Justice from 1985 to1993;
Inquiry into Deaths in Northern Territory Prisons and Police lock-ups in 1998;
Inquiry into the State-wide Forensic Psychiatric Services of Western Australia in 1995;
Inquiry into Deaths in Custody in Victorian Prisons in 1990;
Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology 1984-87;
Dean of the Law School at the University of Western Australia from
1982-84; and -
Member of the WA Law Reform Commission from 1974-77.
Professor Harding has also been a consultant on the $79 million Acacia Prison project.
The Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services was funded in the 2000-2001 Budget, and legislated last year as an independent statutory department to inspect and report upon justice services.
Reporting directly to Parliament, the inspector will initially inspect all prisons, both public and private, and all court custody centres and lockups that are managed by a contract entered into with the Ministry of Justice.
Over time, the inspector’s role will be expanded to include juvenile detention centres and community-based orders administered by the Ministry of Justice.
Within five years the inspector will also have jurisdiction over all police lockups.
Further, the inspector is expected to provide independent and informed advice about the treatment and conditions for prisoners and the extent to which the objectives of imprisonment are being achieved.
An interim Inspector of Custodial Services, Mr Jack Busch, was appointed this month (June 13) until the permanent position is filled in August.
Mr Busch most recently set up the Midland Redevelopment Authority in his capacity as Chief Executive Officer. However, his CV boasts a range of senior positions including A/Public Trustee and Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Sport and Recreation.
Media contact: Danielle van Kampen - 9321 2222