In late March, the PSA was advised by concerned members that Aboriginal Client Service Officers (ACSOs) were being allocated case management hours as if they were Community Corrections Officers.
The PSA immediately wrote to Assistant Commissioner Crawford noting that the ACSO Role Description did not include case management and that allocating hours undermined the important work ACSOs are supposed to be doing.
These roles stem out of various recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and provide critical support functions and services. Their purpose is to reduce risk of reoffending and returning to custody for Aboriginal offenders, which in itself is a risk factor for self-harm.
The PSA expressed its concerns that such an important function was essentially being undermined in order to prop up inadequate staffing levels at certain Community Corrections offices.
The Assistant Commissioner responded and advised unequivocally that ACSOs should not be allocated a caseload and that she has directed the practice to cease effective immediately.
If any ACSO is still carrying a caseload, please encourage them to contact the PSA immediately. The PSA will have no hesitation in raising concerns directly with the Assistant Commissioner.