In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Department for Correctional Services (DCS) implemented a detailed Business Continuity Plan with a focus on strong prevention measures.
During this time the Department made a number of operational and practical changes to establish and maintain social distancing, limit contact and reduce the risk of transmission.
I am pleased that, to date, these measures have ensured the Department has been able to maintain COVID-19 free operations.
Despite our success, the South Australian Chief Public Health Officer has advised that COVID-19 continues to be a risk to everyone, with vigilance being the first line of defence against a resurgence. Although restrictions are easing, DCS will not be rushing to return to normal operations and will instead move forward with caution. DCS will remain vigilant and continue to exercise a risk based approach to resuming operations, to ensure the health and safety of our staff and our vulnerable population.
The Department's COVID-19 transition plan A New Way Forward - The New 'Business as Usual' for DCS is a strategic framework that will enable the Department to make transparent decisions based on a defined set of principles and utilising a risk management approach.
The Department's key objective continues to be the delivery of offender management and rehabilitation, to ensure the highest level of safety and security and reduction of reoffending. As such, decisions on the resumption of activities, services and programs will be assessed against the Department's strategic priorities and those of the state. High priority activities and services that directly realise the Department's goals and can be activated with minimal risk are the focus. A New Way Forward also recognises the successful innovations and initiatives that have already been developed out of necessity during this pandemic. While our business will resume, it may not look the same, as the Department strives to develop a new and sustainable 'business as usual' model.
I believe that this approach will allow the Department to measure its current responses; to carefully consider its next steps; and to plan for a staged return in a way that keeps people safe and meets our businesses objectives.
We look forward to engaging and consulting with our stakeholders as we move towards our New 'Business as Usual' model.
The Department will continue to take a cautious and considered approach to the easing of restrictions in line with identified risks and will act with ongoing vigilance to maintain COVID-19 free operations.
I look forward to providing regular updates on A New Way Forward.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or require further information, please email DCSCOVID19Response@sa.gov.au.
Chief Executive DCS
You can download this news item: A New Way Forward - The New 'Business as Usual' for DCS
Contact: DCS Media
Phone: 08 8226 9047