Junee Correctional Centre may soon adopt a tiered approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, an inquiry into the drug 'ice' has heard.
The adequacy of the state's prison programs for substance withdrawal was debated during the recent Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug 'Ice', with counsel assisting Sally Dowling, SC, arguing more needed to be done to meet regulatory standards.
While the inquiry looked into both public and privately-owned prisons, Ms Dowling told the hearing last week that about 22 people active methamphetamine users were entering custody in NSW every day.
"Corrective Services does not have an overall drug strategy, let alone one in line with the National Drug Strategy," Ms Dowling told the inquiry.
At the privately owned GEO Group Junee Correctional Centre, the main drug treatment program is the EQUIPS Addiction module.
GEO's national director or rehabilitation and reintegration Sarah Gray told the inquiry the module was only provided to inmates found to have a "medium to high risk" of reoffending.
However, Ms Gray said the jail was looking to change to a "tiered approach" already in place in GEO's two Victorian prisons.
"[The tiered approach] is where we look at both risk of reoffending and we look at need for drug and alcohol support or services," she said.
"From there, there can be two pathways people go down. If you are a remanded 5 prisoner or a low-risk risk of reoffending prisoner, you will stay in what we would call a psychoeducational stream."
This stream, Dr Gray told the inquiry, engages in psychoeducational programs and drug awareness.
The second pathway is for sentenced prisoners coming into custody who are found to have drug and alcohol treatment needs. They will go through the psychoeducation as well, plus a step further, she said.
"In addition to that we then say, 'Right, you've done the psychoeducation. You now understand drugs and you understand their harms. You understand their effects. Now it's time to look at how that relates to your offending behaviour'," Dr Gray told the inquiry.
Another key focus of the inquiry was the introduction of a clean needle exchange program. However, Corrective Services were not in support, with a spokeswoman stating "the risks do not outweigh the proven benefits".