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

Australian Government: 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repealed.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.