Action needed on domestic violence


White Ribbon Day is an important opportunity for us to discuss the damage of domestic and family violence, but it is also critical that we take action to address domestic and family violence, according to Liberal Corrections spokesman John Gardner.

"One urgent action that the Weatherill Government needs to undertake is to introduce a domestic violence focused rehabilitation program into our prisons," Mr Gardner said.

"We are arresting and charging more people than ever before for domestic violence related assault offenses – so many that this was identified in October by senior Corrections Department officials as one of the two main reasons that our prisons are currently overflowing.

"However when these offenders are released in the years ahead, the cycle of violence is bound to continue unless we can change their behaviour.

"We have rehabilitation programs for our most violent offenders, for child sexual abusers, and we offer a program for people who need assistance to get themselves free from drugs.

"These programs have good success rates, but I would argue that the most critical area in which our community demands that we change offenders' behaviour is in the area of domestic violence.

"During Estimates in July, Minister Piccolo admitted that while there was a trial of a Domestic Violence related program in the Community Corrections area early last year, but no program was in the pipeline for introduction in our prisons, and even that Community Corrections program was still under evaluation.

"With more domestic violence offenders in our prisons than ever before, it is critical that a domestic violence rehabilitation program is introduced to change these men's behaviour when they are inevitably released," Mr Gardner said.