Correctional Centres Sexual Assaults
Reverend the Hon. Dr GORDON MOYES: My question without notice is addressed to the Minister for Justice. Is the Minister aware that on 4 September President George Bush signed special interest legislation, the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which sets standards for investigating and eliminating rape in prisons, where between 250,000 and 600,000 inmates are raped each year in the United States of America? Does a study show that at least one in four inmates in New South Wales prisons have been raped or sexually assaulted? Minister, what are the actual statistics on how many inmates are raped in New South Wales prisons, gaols and detention centres? If those statistics are not available, where are they? Minister, in this State is there a confidential process for inmates to report incidences of rape? Is there in place an education, prevention and punishment protocol designed to eliminate the rape of inmates?
The Hon. JOHN HATZISTERGOS: I am not aware of the bill referred to by Reverend the Hon. Dr Gordon Moyes. If he would provide me with a copy I would be interested in reading it. As in the broader community, sexual assault is a crime wherever it occurs, including in prison. If sexual assault is reported it is handled by the police, not by the Department of Corrective Services. Any statistics on those matters would be in the possession of the police. It is the policy of the department that any criminal conduct that comes to its attention is referred to the police. I do not have those statistics. I will take the remainder of the question on notice and provide an answer.