A new oversight committee has been formed to help address problems plaguing Canberra's prison.
New Corrections Minister Mick Gentleman said representatives from the prison, the directorate, the human rights commission, the public sector union and the official visitor program would be brought together to oversee a "blueprint for change" at Alexander Maconochie Centre and the trouble-plagued court transport unit.
A delegate from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community will also sit on the committee, which will report to the minister quarterly.
Mr Gentleman said there would be an "urgent focus" on training and staffing levels, as he conceded the current pressure on prison officers was affecting detainees. He said the committee would be tasked with helping to "improve culture" and oversee the implementation of recommendations from inquiries and reports, including a scathing recent review of the court transport unit.
The review, from ACT Inspector of Correctional Services Neil McAllister, found officers responsible for transporting prisoners weren't properly trained and policies were woefully out of date.
Mr McAllister's review also found that one of the court transport vehicles had serious design flaws that would trap prisoners in the event of a crash or fire.
Community and Public Sector Union regional secretary Maddy Northam welcomed the initiative.
Ms Northam said staff shortages and a lack of training had contributed to a deterioration in morale among prison officers.
She said staff had not been trained in advanced use of force techniques, specifically the use of gas, which they believe hindered their ability to respond to the November 10 prison riot.
"They haven't had the opportunity for training because they are constantly being pulled off and on to the floor [to work shifts]," she said. Ms Northam said extra training needed to be rolled urgently, declaring "we can't have any more delays".
She said prison staff were "cautiously optimistic" that the situation would improve under Mr Gentleman, who replaced Shane Rattenbury as ACT Corrections Minister following the October 17 election.
"It is clear that the new minister is taking steps, and taking steps really quickly to try and fix what has happened out at AMC," she said.
Some 14 trainee prison staff are due to graduate later this month, with another intake scheduled for March.
Mr Gentleman said another staff intake in August or September would be considered as part of efforts to further ease rostering pressure.
"I am committed to ensuring staff have the resources they need," he said.
"If additional resources are needed I will be making the case through the budget process."