AG to hear sex offender concerns
Kathy Simmons, the Attorney-General, plans to meet with citizens concerned over the sentencing of sex offenders next week, after a group held a gathering outside the House of Assembly today.
She assured the public that children's well being was of “paramount importance to our Government” and said the administration was committed to the an evaluation of the existing regime.
A statement follows:
“The community will be reminded that last year, this Government introduced the Criminal Code Amendment Act 2018 to ensure that sex offenders are afforded treatment and other interventions both while in custody and upon release from custody.
“The 2018 Amendment included provisions for sex offenders not be released on parole or on their earliest release date, if they do not complete the required rehabilitation programmes. This is being enforced.
“This Government was the first to enforce the provision for notification, as the Minister of Legal Affairs disclosed information to the public in relation to sex offenders who are considered to present a risk of significant harm to the health or safety of the public, an affected group of people, or an individual. That occurred last year, and again last month.
“The public is reminded that offenders are placed on the sex offender register upon conviction. This also requires them to register of annually registration and notifications to the proper authorities of changes in the offender's circumstances etc. Also, a rigorous management and monitoring regime is in place for these offenders released from custody. Further, the Offender Risk Management Team plays a major role in offender management.
“In addition, the Department of Court Services utilises tools and assessments, such as has electronic monitoring devices, urinalysis testing, and treatment programmes, to reduce reoffending risks of offenders in the community. Curfew checks and regular home visits are also conducted.
“As policymakers, this Government's decisions cannot be based on emotions alone. Our decisions must be level-headed, based on evidence and facts. We hear the concerns from the community and we are committed to reviewing and enhancing existing systems. Education of the community also remains vital.
“The Ministry of Legal Affairs will continue to monitor the implementation of the sex offender regime to ensure that it achieves the intended outcome of protecting the community from sexual offenders through effective rehabilitation and treatment programmes, and successful management practices.”
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