28 Apr 2014

Sex offender leakers should be jailed - prison reformer

7:11 pm on 28 April 2014

A prison reformer and former head of the Corrections Department wants public servants jailed if they leak information from a planned register of sex offenders.

The register would be withheld from the public but shared among Corrections, the police, Child, Youth and Family, and other Crown agencies that deal with child safety.

Kim Workman of the lobby group Rethinking Crime and Punishment says the register is a good measure, but he wants tough controls on the information.

"That's the one chink in this policy - inevitably people will be tempted to leak it, because they have their own personal views."

Mr Workman says a short term of three months' jail would send a signal to public servants.

He says police, and public servants have in the past leaked information about the location of sex offenders, which has harmed both them and also, sometimes, their victims.

Special penalty not needed - PSA

But the Public Service Association (PSA) says thare's no need for a special penalty for officials who leak names from the register of sex offenders.

The national secretary of the PSA, Brenda Pilott, says many public servants are already dealing with enormous amounts of private information, and material is not being maliciously leaked.