Prisoners in Police Custody

The current process for managing prisoners in police custody is fundamentally flawed, and is overly reliant on police and police-managed resources.

Prisoners in police custody should only remain in basic police facilities for the shortest possible time, after which they should be transferred into the control of corrections staff at corrections facilities.

Currently, police cells regularly run towards capacity due to the number of sentenced and remanded prisoners held in police cells. Further, the use of police cells to hold young offenders for anything more than overnight remand is unacceptable and not in the best interest of at-risk youth or police.

Despite recent attempts to alleviate the impact of custodial management from police through the introduction of Police Custody Officers, the ultimate responsibility and workload remains with police.

Recommendation:

  • All sentenced prisoners should be managed by the Department of Corrections personnel in its facilities. For this reason, TPAV strongly advocates that additional remand facilities be constructed to service the metropolitan Melbourne area and that these facilities be fully managed within the corrections system.
  • After their first presentation at court, prisoners who are remanded should be managed in Department of Corrections facilities from this point.