Prison conditions generally met international standards. The government affirmed it would permit visits by independent human rights observers and several such visits occurred during the year. International human rights organizations criticized asylum-seeker detention center conditions. On July 19, asylum seekers at the Australian-run detention center rioted following an announcement that Australia would implement stricter immigration policies (see section 2.d.). Police temporarily detained 150 asylum seekers at the prison and at the police station for questioning. Subsequently, the authorities charged 140 for riot-related offences and released them. On August 26, authorities dropped charges against 10 of the 140.
Physical Conditions: The sole correctional facility is designed to hold as many as 80 prisoners at full capacity. The facility consists of a juvenile center that can hold up to 20 juveniles, a women’s prison that can hold up to 20 women prisoners, two dormitory units that can hold another 20 male prisoners, and a main prison that can hold 20 male prisoners. There were 14 male prisoners in detention by August 30. Prisoners had access to potable water.
Administration: The government kept adequate records. Prisoners and detainees did not have an ombudsman who served on their behalf. Prison authorities provided daily reports to the correctional center’s management on the behavior of each prisoner. These reports were submitted to the Quarterly Remission Program, which could reduce a prisoner’s sentence by a quarter of the total term based on good behavior. The correctional center’s management made recommendations for sentence reductions to the secretary for justice, who issued final decisions. The program also ensured prison terms were monitored accurately.
There is no formal legal provision for traditional reconciliation mechanisms. Apologies and reconciliation, however, frequently played an informal role in criminal proceedings, including as a mitigating factor in sentencing.
Authorities permitted prisoners and detainees to submit complaints to judicial authorities through their families, lawyers, or directly with the officer in charge. All complaints were addressed by the officer in charge. If necessary, police assisted in investigations. Government representatives made weekly visits to the prison.
Prisoners had access to visitors and permission for religious observance.
Independent Monitoring: The government affirmed it would permit monitoring visits by independent human rights observers, and several such visits took place. The Salvation Army maintained a presence within the detention center to provide humanitarian services.
Improvements: The correctional center was undergoing renovations during the year. The Australian government donated 17 million Australian dollars ($15.87 million) for the construction of a new corrections facility.