Complaints handled fairly: CSD

March 8, 2019

The Correctional Services Department said it reviews and enhances the mechanism for handling complaints from time to time to increase its transparency and credibility in handling them in an open, fair and impartial manner.


The department made the statement today in response to a press conference held by Legislative Council members regarding the mechanism and the inspection arrangement for Justices of the Peace.


Currently, people in custody can lodge complaints to the institutional management, directorate officers of the department headquarters during their inspection, or the independent Complaints Investigation Unit which is appointed by the Commissioner of Correctional Services.


The unit will investigate each complaint in a fair, impartial and comprehensive manner, or make referral to other law enforcement agencies for follow up.


If the person lodging the complaint is not satisfied with the findings, an appeal can be made to the department’s Complaints Appeal Board.


To further boost the mechanism to scrutinise appeals, the number of appeal board members increased from 10 to 18 in April of last year. Apart from Justices of the Peace, religious people who are acquainted with correctional operations were also appointed.


The department said it does not arrange visits by Justices of the Peace, and that the date and time of their surprise visits are not disclosed to the department or the institutions concerned.


Prisoners can lodge complaints with Justices of the Peace during such visits.

It said the existing mechanism for these visits is functioning well and that among 414 inspections conducted by Justices of the Peace in 2018, the department received 187 complaints from prisoners.


The department added it attaches great importance to staff members’ conduct, integrity and ethics. Any staff members who breach the law will be dealt with seriously.

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