Frequently Asked Questions

Issues we cannot deal with

The Custodial Inspector cannot investigate individual complaints except insofar as they relate to systemic issues present in the correctional environment. If you have an individual complaint, this can be directed to the Tasmanian Ombudsman.

Is the information I give you kept confidential?

The Custodial Inspector Act 2016 contains confidentiality provisions that apply to information provided to us. Personal information may be used when undertaking inspections, and may be disclosed only in very limited statutorily approved circumstances.

Personal information will be managed in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Act 2004 and you may access it on request.

Who is the Custodial Inspector?

Richard Connock was appointed Tasmania’s Custodial Inspector on 31 January 2017 and is the first holder of the office.

What is the role of Custodial Inspector?

The Custodial Inspector is appointed by the Governor of Tasmania under the Custodial Inspector Act 2016. In performing his functions, the Inspector must act independently, impartially and in the public interest. The Inspector reports directly to the Minister responsible for the custodial centre on the treatment of, and conditions for, prisoners and detainees in Tasmania. The responsible Minister is then to table a copy of the Inspector’s report in each House of Parliament. The Custodial Inspector is not in any way connected to, or influenced by, Tasmania Prison Service or Youth Justice Services.

What are the custodial centres in Tasmania?

A custodial centre is defined as a prison within the meaning of the Corrections Act 1997, and a detention centre within the meaning of the Youth Justice Act 1997. At present, in Tasmania the following custodial centres are subject to the oversight of the Custodial Inspector:

  • Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison
  • Risdon Prison Complex (medium and maximum security and the Southern Remand Centre)
  • Mary Hutchinson Women’s Prison
  • Hobart Reception Prison
  • Launceston Reception Prison
  • Ashley Youth Detention Centre

What is the inspection methodology?

All inspections of custodial centres are conducted against the Custodial Inspector’s published inspection standards. The inspection standards are based on international human rights standards, and cover matters considered essential to the safe, respectful and purposeful treatment of detainees and prisoners in custody.

The inspection standards specify the criteria for inspection. During an inspection a number of sources of evidence are used to assess the custodial centre against the standards. These sources of evidence include individual interviews carried out with staff, prisoners and detainees, survey results, group discussions with prisoners and detainees, documentation, and observation by inspectors.

Inspection reports are published in Parliament after an inspection is completed. Prior to publication of the report custodial centre management and the responsible Secretary are consulted with, and invited to correct any factual inaccuracies within the report.

How do I make a complaint about the Custodial Inspector or their staff?

The Office of the Custodial Inspector welcomes feedback and complaints about the way we have performed our functions and exercised our powers under the Custodial Inspector Act 2016.

If you have a concern about the conduct of an inspection officer, please raise it with them in the first instance. If you are uncomfortable doing that or you have but remain dissatisfied, please outline your concerns, preferably in writing, to their supervisor or the Custodial Inspector either by:

We will endeavour to respond to your complaint about our service within 14 days, but we will let you know if we require additional time to review the matter.

You can also contact the Joint Standing Committee on Integrity if you have concerns about the way the Custodial Inspector, or a delegate, has exercised their functions and powers. You can find more information about the role of Joint Standing Committee on Integrity, as well as its contact details, on the Parliament of Tasmania website.