Community Corrections | Monitoring Centre Officers | Update

02 November 2018

The Public Service Association (PSA) has been supporting Monitoring Centre Officer (MCO) members over the last few months with many work practice changes that have been occurring. The PSA has called the Department for Correctional Services (DCS) to account for a distinct lack of genuine consultative processes regarding these changes. Below is a brief update on matters outstanding currently with DCS.

Executive Directors Instruction 18-026 – Response Protocol for Strap Tamper Alerts
An Executive Directors Instruction (EDI) was recently distributed to staff in the Intensive Compliance Unit (ICU) regarding a change in procedure for responding to strap tamper alerts. The PSA raised concerns with DCS regarding lack of consultation, increased workload, and the negative impact on working relationships with colleagues within South Australia Police. DCS stated that it is a non-negotiable matter due to a prior critical incident. The PSA has written formally to DCS requesting commitment to consultation on this change. A copy of correspondence is attached (here).

Executive Directors Instruction 18-027 – Identified Non Compliance Breaches for Strap Tampers
An EDI was recently distributed to staff in ICU and Community Correctional Centres regarding responsibility for identified non compliance breaches for strap tampers. The EDI directed that responsibility for Intensive Bail Supervision (IBS) and Court Ordered Home Detention offender strap tampers breaches across all shifts would rest solely with MCOs. Again, the employer did not consult with the union. Consultation occured in relation to IBS breaches only. The PSA has written formally to DCS requesting commitment to consultation on this change. A copy of the correspondence is available (here).

Retrospective Review Electronics (RREs) Checks
The PSA has been supporting MCOs with the introduction of RREs as a component of their role and function. A draft Local Operating Procedure (LOP) is currently being consulted on to ensure the specifics and details relating to the task are captured. Currently, the agreement is that MCOs undertake the RREs when there is a fifth spare staff member on day or afternoon shift. In addition, there is scope to complete them on night shift with the correct complement of staff. A formal review of the RREs is to be undertaken on 12 December 2018. The PSA has requested that all MCO staff be included in this review. DCS is presently in the process of compiling data on the numbers of RREs being completed by MCOs. The PSA has reminded DCS that the role of MCOs is primarily that of monitoring and that it is crucial that undertaking of RREs does not take priority. The PSA has put forward the proposal that additional resourcing in a position separate to the Monitoring Centre be considered by DCS. This would facilitate all breach actions and completion of RREs to be undertaken in a dedicated role that can be appropriately resourced as offender numbers continually increase.