More than $20 million has been slashed from the justice budget since 2014, a Labor spokesman says.
Labor corrections spokesman Josh Willie said Premier Will Hodgman and Attorney-General Elise Archer know the prison system is bursting at the seams at the same time the backlog at the Supreme Court is at unacceptable levels.
But Ms Archer said the government had not made cuts to the corrections system.
“It took a Hodgman majority Liberal government to take action and commission a KPMG Audit, after incorrect prison releases occurred under the former Labor-Green Government,” she said.
“It is our government which is investing $16 million-plus in improved ICT to safeguard against future problems which will result in the sharing of information from the courts to the prison in real time.”
The Examiner recently revealed Josh Brown was incorrectly released from prison due to an administration error, making him the eighth prisoner accidentally released since 2015.
Mr WIllie said with eight-known botched prisoner releases since 2015, it is clear that the Liberals are not matching their talk by funding the system properly, which risked public safety.
“The facts are the Hodgman government slashed more than $20 million from the justice budget from 2014. As their cuts kicked in, at least eight prisoners have been released incorrectly since 2015,” he said.
But Ms Archer hit back at the claims, saying she would not be lectured by Mr Willie and Labor.
“They’ve (Labor) failed to commit to one single extra correctional officer, while the government has recruited an additional 78 since mid-2016, build a 270-bed Northern Prison, in addition to a new Southern Remand Centre at the Risdon Prison Complex,” she said.
A report into the state’s prisons revealed prisoners at Launceston Reception Prison are issued with previously used, but freshly laundered, underwear and socks.
The Custodial Inspector Tasmania annual report for 2017-18 said it was not acceptable for prisoners to wear previously used underwear, even if it has been washed and recommended the Tasmania Prison Service stop redistributing secondhand underwear.
Mr Willie said with increased presentations to the court system of 12 per cent, the Chief Justice Alan Blow asked for more resources.
“It is time for the Hodgman Liberal government to listen and act,” he said.
“Offenders must take responsibility for their offences and where possible be supported to participate in supervised diversion and rehabilitation programs.”