The public will have its say on proposed reforms designed to minimise the strip-searching of children in custody.
The state government has released draft legislation for consultation after Tasmania's Commissioner for Children and Young People made a number of recommendations relating to the issue last year.
The Youth Justice Amendment (Searches in Custody) Bill seeks to clarify and consolidate into a single piece of legislation the law governing searches of children in custody.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Children's Commissioner Leanne McLean said she was pleased the government had heeded her advice.
"I commend the collaborative work undertaken by government agencies to respond to the issues raised in my advice," she said.
Ms McLean said the government had provided her information showing that the rates of strip-searches of children at both the Hobart and Launceston reception prisons had dropped to about 10-15 per cent.
"This represents a very different approach to the one taken before 1 July, 2019 when all children admitted to reception prisons were subject to strip searches regardless of the level of risk present," she said.
The government's proposed amendments are intended to reduce any "associated trauma, distress or harm" that can arise from searches of children in custody, according to Attorney-General and Corrections Minister Elise Archer.
"The draft bill provides a consolidated and consistent power to search a youth in custody in custodial facilities, or in transit between facilities, when there are reasonable grounds that the search is necessary, and for a legitimate purpose," she said.
The bill can be viewed on the Justice Department website. The time for submissions expires at close of business on October 27.
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor: