DIAC Response to the 2011 Australian Human Rights Commission Statement on Immigration Detention in Leonora (2011)

 Department of Immigration and Citizenship logo Response to the 2011 Australian Human Rights Commission Statement on Immigration Detention in Leonora

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Introduction

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Public Statement on Immigration Detention in Leonora.

DIAC places a high value on the work of the Commission and appreciates the Commission’s substantial recognition of the hard and consistent efforts of all those staff supporting the management of clients in Leonora.

The AHRC has outlined a number of key issues related to Immigration Detention in Leonora. DIAC comments in response to these recommendations are outlined below.

Recommendation 1: Australia’s mandatory detention law should be repealed. The Migration Act should be amended so that immigration detention occurs only when necessary. This should be the exception, not the norm. It must be for a minimal period, be reasonable and be a proportionate means of achieving at least one of the aims outlined in international law. The limited grounds for detention should be clearly prescribed in the Migration Act.[1]

The Australian Government is committed to all measures to prevent and deter non-compliance to preserve the integrity of Australia’s migration program, while treating individuals humanely. The Government considers mandatory immigration detention an essential component of strong border control. The Government will retain the system of mandatory detention, along with strong border security measures, to ensure the orderly processing of migration to our country.

In line with the Government’s approach to immigration detention, people are detained based on the risk they pose to the Australian community and are held in an immigration detention centre for the shortest practicable time. Under the Government’s Key Immigration Detention Values, mandatory immigration detention applies to three groups of people:

  1. all unauthorised arrivals, for management of health, identity and security risks to the community;
  2. unlawful non-citizens who present unacceptable risks to the community; and
  3. unlawful non-citizens who repeatedly refused to comply with their visas conditions.

Article 9 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that everyone has the right to liberty and security of person, and that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. The government understands that the key elements in determining whether detention is arbitrary are whether the circumstances under which a person is detained are ‘reasonable’ and ‘necessary’ in all of the circumstances or otherwise arbitrary in that the detention is inappropriate, unjust or unpredictable. Detention will not be arbitrary if it is demonstrated to be proportional to the end that is sought. Both the law under which the detention is authorised and the manner in which it is carried out or enforced must meet these criteria. The government is satisfied that immigration detention of unauthorised arrivals is proportionate to the aim of processing any claims those people might make as swiftly and humanely as possible while also protecting the security and welfare of the Australian community and ensuring that those persons who are not owed protection remain available for removal. Mandatory immigration detention is an exceptional measure primarily reserved for people who arrive in Australia without authorisation.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has noted, drawing on UNHCR guidelines, that a legitimate purpose of immigration detention can be for the purposes of conducting security checks. This is part of the Government’s Key Immigration Detention Values and, as AHRC has also noted, some of the delays that are occurring, and having an impact on the length of clients’ detention, are while security checks are being conducted. Each case is considered on an individual basis and the timing for the completion of security checks varies from one case to another depending on individual circumstances. These screening mechanisms ensure Australia discharges its international obligations in a way which provides appropriate protection to the Australian community from people who may pose a risk to our national security.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s (DIAC) response to Recommendation 3 below provides further information about security checking and about measures to minimise the time spent in immigration detention.

Recommendation 2: The Migration Act should be amended to accord with international law by requiring that a decision to detain a person, or a decision to continue a person’s detention, is subject to prompt review by a court. To comply with article 9(4) of the ICCPR, the court must have the power to order the person’s release if their detention is not lawful. The lawfulness of their detention is not limited to domestic legality – it includes whether the detention is compatible with the requirements of article 9(1) of the ICCPR, which affirms the right to liberty and prohibits arbitrary detention.[1]

DIAC notes AHRC’s view that Australia is not complying with its international obligations in this regard and that AHRC has cited the views of the United Nations Human Rights Committee in A v Australia. Australia disagreed with that Committee’s interpretation of Article 9(4) of the ICCPR and expressed to the Committee its view that under that Article, judicial review needs to be available to consider the lawfulness of detention in the context of domestic law, rather than issues of arbitrariness.

Nevertheless, the Government has improved the review of the appropriateness of detention in line with the Key Immigration Values. Value 4 provides that


  1. Detention that is indefinite or otherwise arbitrary is not acceptable and the length and conditions of detention, including the appropriateness of both the accommodation and the services provided, would be subject to regular review. (emphasis added)

Senior Officer and Ombudsman’s reviews introduced under the Government’s key immigration detention values consider the appropriateness of the person’s detention, their detention arrangements and other matters relevant to their ongoing detention and case resolution.

Recommendation 3: Until the above legislative changes are implemented, the Australian Government should avoid the prolonged detention of asylum seekers by:

  • Ensuring full implementation of its New Directions policy under which asylum seekers should only be held in immigration detention while their health, identity and security checks are conducted. After this, the presumption should be that they will be permitted to reside in the community unless a specific risk justifies their ongoing detention.
  • Ensuring that security checks are conducted as quickly as possible.

 

      • People are detained because they are unlawful non citizens not because they are asylum seekers
      • Where a person in detention seeks asylum robust streamlined assessment processes, including provision of publicly funded assistance, are applied as a high priority. There are merits and judicial review opportunities
      • As at 14 January 2011, 6427 of the 6730 people who are in immigration detention are Irregular Maritime Arrivals (IMA’s) and are undergoing processes to resolve their claims
      • Most of these people have not yet satisfied security checks
      • Processes are in place for Ministerial consideration on a case by case basis of release making a residence determination where the Minister is satisfied any health, identity or security risks may be managed in the community and where there are not other issues such as risk of harm to the community or absconding which militate in favour of continued detention

On 18 October 2010, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship announced the government’s intention to use existing powers under the Migration Act to progressively place significant numbers of Unaccompanied Minors (UAMs) and vulnerable families into Residence Determination arrangements. Placement into community detention will be made by the Minister on a case by case basis.

DIAC is managing the implementation of the expanded Residence Determination program, and the Minister's Council for Immigration Services and Status Resolution (CISSR) is working closely with DIAC to support this process. A project team drawing on relevant expertise across DIAC has been formed to develop and establish the expanded Residence Determination arrangements.

The expanded Residence Determination program will be rolled out progressively between now and 30 June 2011. The Australian Red Cross is the lead agency for the implementation of the expanded arrangements and will draw on the expertise of a wide range of experienced service providers and contributing organisations. Services can include sourcing of accommodation, case worker support and 24 hour carer support to UAMs, among others. Immediate housing options have been identified and are being assessed for the first group of placements. Further housing is being sourced and will be staged to come on line from January through to June 2011.

The foundation of Australia’s layered approach to border security includes the universal visa system which enables DIAC and other agencies to conduct pre-arrival checks of visa applicants and prevent the entry of those who may pose a security, criminal or health risk to the community. The vast majority of IMAs come to Australia undocumented and, in line with the Government’s immigration detention values, are held in immigration detention pending completion of health, identity and security checks.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is responsible for the furnishing to Commonwealth agencies of security assessments relevant to their functions and responsibilities. Security assessments undertaken by the external agency are treated individually and undertaken on a case-by-case basis. As such, there is no single or definitive timeframe within which each check is completed. Some cases are able to be finalised within a short timeframe; but others, because of the specific circumstances of the case, can take much longer.

DIAC regularly liaises with ASIO on caseload issues, and escalates individual cases of concern for priority assessment, such as UAMs, families with young children, and clients with mental health concerns or other compassionate and compelling circumstances. DIAC also seeks updates on the progress of individual cases from ASIO.

Following the High Court decision of 11 November 2010, the Government is introducing changes to the refugee status determination process for irregular maritime arrivals with effect from 1 March 2011. The changes will streamline the assessment process to ensure irregular maritime arrivals are better able to present their claims in the first instance and that any issues arising from their claims will be more quickly resolved. The new process also ensures that procedural fairness is afforded to clients, in accordance with the High Court decision.

The new Protection Obligations Determination process will allow for a faster initial assessment by a departmental officer, to be known as a Protection Obligations Evaluation. Where the officer considers that the person is owed protection obligations under the Refugees Convention, the case will be considered for the grant of a Protection visa subject to meeting other immigration criteria such as health, character and security. The departmental officer will fast-track all other cases to an independent assessor for a final determination, to be known as an Independent Protection Assessment.

The new process will also assist in reducing the time clients spend in immigration detention.

Recommendation 4: The Australian Government should implement the outstanding recommendations of the report of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention, A last resort?.[1] These include that Australia’s immigration detention laws should be amended, as a matter of urgency, to comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In particular, the new laws should incorporate the following minimum features:

  • There should be a presumption against the detention of children for immigration purposes.
  • A court or independent tribunal should assess whether there is a need to detain children for immigration purposes within 72 hours of any initial detention (for example, for the purposes of health, identity or security checks).
  • There should be prompt and periodic review by a court of the legality of continuing detention of children for immigration purposes.
  • All courts and independent tribunals should be guided by the following principles:
    • detention of children must be a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time
    • the best interests of children must be a primary consideration
    • the preservation of family unity
    • special protection and assistance for unaccompanied children.

The government takes its international obligations seriously and acts consistently to comply with all of its treaty obligations, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC).

Minors and their accompanying families are accommodated at low-security sites, such as immigration transit accommodation (ITA) and immigration residential housing (IRH), or other alternative places of detention (APOD), which includes commercial accommodation such as motels.

UAMs are subject to the same accommodation arrangements as other children, but are supported by appropriate carers and are held in an APOD while health, security and identity checks are completed. They may then be considered for a community placement if accommodation is available.

Section 4AA of the Migration Act states:

"(1) The Parliament affirms as a principle that a minor shall only be detained as a measure of last resort.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the reference to a minor being detained does not include a reference to a minor residing at a place in accordance with a residence determination".

While section 4AA affirms the principle that children should only be detained as a last resort, the principle does not limit the location and nature of any such detention. The announcement of the Government’s Key Immigration Detention Values formalised arrangements already in place operationally within DIAC, noting that minors will not be detained in an immigration detention centre (IDC).

DIAC maintains that Key Immigration Detention Value 3, which provides that ‘children, including juvenile foreign fishers and, where possible, their families, will not be detained in an immigration detention centre’, broadly reflects our international obligations under Article 3(1) and Article 37 of the CROC. Although children fall under the broad mandatory detention framework, they are treated considerably differently than adults.

The facilities at Leonora are designed to provide a comfortable environment where children can continue to develop while they remain with their families in detention. The processing of asylum claims by children is accorded the highest priority to ensure compliance with our Article 37(b) obligations under the CROC and that children remain in facilities for the ‘shortest appropriate period of time’.

DIAC maintains that children in Leonora have considerable liberties, and are free to attend school, outings and other organised activities in order to best permit them to live as unrestricted as possible while their claims (and those of their families) are assessed.

Policy documents relating to the treatment of children in detention are clear:

‘Children can be a vulnerable group of clients, particularly in the context of compliance operations and immigration detention. The case management of children presents particular challenges and requires special consideration of the child’s individual and family circumstances. Although a child will not be detained in an IDC, it is possible that a child may be subject to other detention arrangements such as community detention or immigration residential housing. If a child has been detained, whether or not this is with a parent or guardian, the child will be actively case managed. The only exceptions might be children who have been detained with their families and are on a rapid removal pathway or juvenile foreign fishers.’[1]

The department acknowledges the AHRC’s concerns regarding assessments on the need to detain children and undertaking periodic reviews. As previously noted in the response to Recommendation 3, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship announced the intention to use existing powers under the Migration Act to progressively place significant numbers of UAMs and vulnerable families in residence determination arrangements.

This move is in recognition of the increasing numbers of families with children and UAMs in immigration detention and the lengthening period of time which some may have been detained during processing of their claims or finalisation of their cases.

The residence determination arrangements will be rolled out progressively in partnership with community organisations over the coming months and should go a large way to providing suitable longer term accommodation for this group of clients.

A reference group has been formed involving key CISSR representatives, DIAC officers and other external members, including a representative from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

As noted above in relation to Recommendation 2, DIAC has established Senior Officer and Ombudsman’s reviews that now regularly consider the appropriateness of a person’s ongoing detention, their detention arrangements and other matters relevant to their detention and case resolution. These review arrangements apply to people in Residence Determination arrangements as well as to people in other places of detention.

Recommendation 5: People should not be held in immigration detention in remote locations such as Leonora. If people must be held in immigration detention facilities, they should be located in metropolitan areas.

The department is cognisant of the issues raised by the Commission in operating facilities in remote locations. Due to the recent high influx of arrivals and pressures on existing facilities, the opportunities in sourcing suitable facilities of sufficient size in more favourable locations at short notice is difficult. The facilities at Leonora provided an immediate solution to the pressing need to accommodate clients in a relatively open environment, providing adequate recreational space and good levels of privacy.

The department is working on finding more suitable accommodation and has achieved worthy results in the recently opened Inverbrackie facility where families are able to live and manage their stay in detention in an as normal environment as possible.

Recommendation 6: DIAC should pursue the adoption of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Western Australia Department for Child Protection in order to ensure clear guidelines are in place regarding responsibilities and procedures relating to the welfare and protection of children in immigration detention in Leonora.

Preliminary discussions have commenced between the department and Western Australia’s Department of Premier and Cabinet (WA DPC) on an overarching Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cover a range of services. Consequently it is expected to supersede the current MOU between WA and the Commonwealth on the education of minors at Leonora.

The MOU may also cover child protection issues, including roles and responsibilities, reporting arrangements, protocols for managing notifications and costs. There have been some preliminary discussions on this aspect in recent days.

Recommendation 7: DIAC should ensure that all relevant DIAC officers and staff members of detention service providers are given a localised policy setting out the requirements and procedures for making child welfare and protection notifications in relation to concerns that arise in respect of children in immigration detention in Leonora. Staff should also be provided with training on this policy.

The departmental policy is that any suspicion or allegation relating to child welfare should be immediately referred to the relevant state/territory welfare authority regardless of whether or not mandatory reporting is a requirement.

In the first instance, when there is a need to escalate an issue regarding child welfare, the Regional Manager will escalate any concerns they have, including allegations or suspicion of abuse or neglect, to a departmental officer, who will liaise with the relevant state or territory welfare authority.

These lines of communication will be documented in the departmental instruction concerning minors (currently being reviewed and due for release in late March) as contained in the Detention Services Manual which is published on the departmental database (LEGEND). These instructions provide policy guidance to departmental and Detention Service Provider (DSP) staff.

After the departmental instruction is released on LEGEND, DIAC staff are advised of the new instruction by means of an email with direct links to the instruction in LEGEND. The DSP is also advised by means of a letter with copy of the revised instruction attached.

Recommendation 8: DIAC should explore possibilities for providing pre-school aged children in immigration detention in Leonora with appropriate opportunities to take part in active learning and play activities outside the detention environment. In particular, this might include making arrangements in order to allow four year old children to attend the local pre-school.

The department has commenced a program to review education for all children under 18 years of age, including pre-school aged children, with a view to ensuring a consistent approach in the provision of education and activities at all detention facilities in which children are accommodated.

DIAC is examining appropriate levels of care and activities for pre-school aged children that should be implemented at each relevant facility. DIAC is mindful of the need for a flexible approach and will take into account the range of services (including State/Territory government services) and facilities available at each location.

Recommendation 9: DIAC should ensure that people in immigration detention in Leonora are provided with timely access to appropriate health and mental health services. In particular, this should include timely access to appropriate specialist, dental, ante-natal and psychiatric care.

The department is of the view that people in immigration detention at the Leonora facility are provided with access to appropriate health and mental health services that is in line with Australian community standards.

Dental Access

Since the AHRC’s visit to the Leonora facility, the following measures have been taken to improve dental access:


  • Longer and more frequent block appointment bookings have been made available by the dental provider in Kalgoorlie.
  • Sourcing two new dental providers in Kalgoorlie. There are now three providers available.
  • The original and new providers in Kalgoorlie have agreed to utilise the dental room and facilities located at the Leonora Hospital for scheduled weekend sessions once arrangements with the hospital are finalised by the department.
  • Engaging the services of a ‘fly-in’ Dentist is currently under internal discussion.

Ante-Natal

The department acknowledges that, at the time of the AHRC’s visit to the Leonora facility, there may have been pregnant women who had not consulted with a general practitioner (GP) or had an ultrasound examination. However, the Detention Health Services Provider (DHSP) has assured the department that the five pregnant clients that were accommodated at the Leonora facility as at 20 January 2011, have all had GP consultations and been provided with access to ultrasound examinations as per the recommended clinical standards.

The DHSP provides copies of the Antenatal Shared Care Western Australia Guidelines to ante-natal clients at Leonora. DHSP staff with Midwifery qualifications also conduct ante-natal care sessions (a minimum of one per month) where education is provided on topics including pregnancy, minor complaints of pregnancy and delivery. In addition, all pregnant clients at the Leonora facility are issued with ‘pregnancy packs’ containing overnight food supplements and morning and afternoon tea.

All pregnant clients are transferred to a larger metropolitan Hospital at 32-34 weeks for confinement and delivery (as per wider Australian Community standards for confinement and delivery in rural and remote areas).

Mental health

As far as possible within the existing system of mandatory detention, the department is doing all it can to minimise factors that contribute to the deterioration of the mental health of those in immigration detention, to maximise protective factors, and to assist those in need, including prompt referral for appropriate treatment. This includes well-resourced activities and recreation programs which contribute to a person’s development, well-being and quality of life, in accordance with the government’s key immigration detention values.

The Government recognises that events, such as the refusal of a visa application, can place additional stress on people in immigration detention, which may increase their risk of suicide and self-harm or susceptibility to poor mental health. Currently, these risks are managed by health professionals employed by (or networked with) the DHSP, and include Mental Health Nurses, Psychologists and Psychiatrists who are registered with the appropriate professional organisations and institutions.

The Mental Health Team at the Leonora facility supports the families accommodated there and provides them with counselling and coping strategies to manage their anxieties while waiting for their application to be processed. Re-screening for mental health issues occurs at set intervals and also in connection with key events, such as the refusal of a visa application that might occur during a person’s time in immigration detention. This is to ensure that any latent issues or any issues that may arise during the person’s time in immigration detention, are identified and treated appropriately. Specialised care is also available for those who require it.

Psychiatric care

When a client at the Leonora facility is referred to a psychiatrist (who will consult with the Leonora facilities mental health team), an appointment will be made based on the urgency of the treatment. If an urgent appointment is required, a decision will be made to transfer the client to a place of immigration detention in the city where a specialist appointment can and has been arranged (usually either Perth or Kalgoorlie). Where a referral is not considered to be urgent, clients are made aware of potentially lengthy waiting times before they may be seen, either by a visiting specialist, or through a routine (non-urgent) appointment at the closest public hospital. These arrangements are comparable to community standards.

Recommendation 10: DIAC should ensure that all people in immigration detention in Leonora have access to:

  • adequate outdoor recreation spaces including sufficient grassy and shaded areas

Shade shelters are being installed in the children’s playground area and are scheduled for completion in mid February 2011. Areas for additional paved pathways, garden beds and grassed areas were identified and completed in January 2011. Outdoor furniture settings and additional shade shelters were ordered and delivered to Leonora in January 2011.

A new perimeter fence at Leonora has been installed. Work will begin on an internal fence, separating the turf soccer pitch and the car park. The internal fence is estimated for completion in February 2011. Once this is completed, the gym, turf soccer pitch and children’s playground will be freely accessible by clients.


  • adequate indoor recreation spaces including a gym or exercise room, and safe and appropriate play areas for young children

Currently, the Leonora facility has both a youth centre with a youth worker and a recreational centre which includes a pool table, table tennis table, television and computers. The facility also has a children’s room for English lessons and activities including craft, children’s play area, soccer pitch, volley ball area, sewing room, vegetable garden and a library containing literature in various languages. A proposed music room with instruments is already on site and gym equipment is on order. At present, the recreational centre, library and prayer rooms are available to clients 24 hours a day.

A fit out of the gym is underway. The gym equipment was ordered and arrived on site in early February 2011. The equipment will be installed, OH & S checks, Security Risk Assessments, and staff training will take place, and the expected opening date of the gym is 9 February 2011. Additional recreational rooms are also being made available to clients, and access to the second half of the dining room for recreational purposes is already available.


  • a range of recreational activities conducted on a regular basis

A range of activities are offered at the Leonora facility for people in detention. These include: museum visits, farm visits, public library visits, sewing classes, English classes, schooling for school-age children, play groups for toddlers, card making classes, and bead making classes.

DIAC is currently liaising with the Leonora Local Council to source some skills training for people in detention. It is intended that this training will cover areas of life skills, women’s health and welfare classes and Australian knowledge classes.

DIAC has commenced a review of programs and activities for all people in detention at all sites, with a view to ensuring a consistent approach in the provision of an appropriate level of activities and programs for all people in detention at each detention facility. The review will give consideration and focus to the cultural and gender mix of the immigration detention population such as, single men, married men, single women, married women, single parents, school aged children and pre-school aged children. DIAC is very mindful of the need to have a rich program of meaningful activities for all people in detention, with particular emphasis on learning English, and is working very closely with the DSP to improve programs and activities at all sites.

DIAC is supportive of including the views of people in detention in planning activities. This is co-ordinated at most sites to differing degrees, through the client consultative committee meetings.

Participation in programs and activities is not compulsory. Persons in immigration detention have the right to refuse to participate if they chose. They may also ask to participate in programs and activities after initially refusing to participate.


  • a sufficient number of English classes

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are in place and are available to all people at the Leonora facility. Infrastructure improvements have recently been completed and an increase in the frequency of classes is currently being investigated with an ESL teacher to be engaged when a suitable candidate is identified.

Online delivery of an ESL program is also being investigated. The Leonora facility provides access to language translation dictionaries for all persons in detention.


  • an adequate supply of reading materials in the principal languages spoken by people in detention

Infrastructure upgrades are due to be completed at the Leonora facility in early 2011 which will include the installation of additional internet enabled computers. This will allow more clients to access news and current affairs from their home countries.

In addition to this infrastructure work, a greater number of dictionaries and reading materials have recently been sourced to cater for the different ethnic groups within the facility.

The department regards availability of suitable reading material in English and other languages as an essential component of recreation for people in detention. As part of the programs and activities review, DIAC will work with the DSP to improve the availability of appropriate reading material and translation dictionaries.


  • regular opportunities to leave the detention environment on external excursions.

The department, alongside with the DSP have consulted with the local Leonora community to find suitable programs and activities for clients accommodated at the Leonora facility. As a result of this consultation, clients now have access to a range of external excursions at many locations within the Leonora community. This includes visits to the sports oval, playground, recreation centre, visitors centre, public library, Gwalia Museum and township, and Fifi Farm.

DIAC is also liaising with the local council to source suitable skills training for people in detention which will result in a greater number and variety of external excursions. The department anticipates that the skills training may involve some voluntary work, either within or outside the Leonora facility.

DIAC's review of programs and activities includes a review of external excursions. DIAC is aware of the difficulties in arranging an appropriate level of external activities for all groups of people in detention. It is DIAC's policy that women should have access to the same opportunities to attend external excursions as men.

Recommendation 11: DIAC should ensure that all people in immigration detention in Leonora who seek to do so have access to regular religious services conducted by qualified religious representatives.

Persons in immigration detention are able to practice the religion of their choice on an individual or communal basis and have access to community religious organisations.

A fortnightly Christian service is offered to clients at the Leonora facility, an Imam from Kalgoorlie has attended the facility, and in-house Hindu services have been held. A number of cultural and religious celebrations have also been facilitated, including Ramadan and Sarathswathi Pooja.

Religious service rooms have also been established within the facility for Muslim and Hindu clients. Prayer rooms are available to all clients for use individually or as a group, 24 hours per day.

DIAC and Serco continue to work hard to organise suitable religious excursions and liaise with religious providers to arrange for regular religious access for people in detention.

The DSP appoints a religion liaison officer at each facility as a first point of contact for persons in immigration detention and visitors regarding the provision of religious and spiritual care in the IDF. The religion liaison officer will:

•    coordinate all religious activities, including after hours activities and bringing religious items into an IDF,

•    coordinate all access by all religious visitors to the IDF and areas within the facility, and

•    help persons in immigration detention contact appropriate religious visitors.

Recommendation 12: DIAC should take appropriate measures to ensure greater continuity in the Case Management service, both in Leonora and other immigration detention locations.

During mid to late 2010, the department undertook a number of recruitment exercises to expand its case management network and to provide continuity of case managers for clients in the immigration detention facilities (IDF’s).

To date three training courses, including mentoring, have been completed and as a result, all of these case managers have been or are about to be deployed to a number of IDF’s across the network.

Successful applicants from one of the recruitment exercises will be ready for deployment from mid April 2011, after completing a comprehensive training and mentoring program.

As of 27 January 2011, two of Leonora’s case management positions will be occupied on a longer term basis for up to six months. As of 23 February 2011, a third case management position will be occupied for up to six months. It is expected that the case manager team leader position at Leonora will be occupied from the current recruitment exercise that is underway and due to be finalised by Mid February 2011. All Case Management positions in Leonora will all be occupied on a long term basis by mid April 2011.

The department’s intent for all Case Management intakes has been that case managers would be deployed for six months, return to home base, and then be deployed again.