Monday, December 2, 2002

Corrective Services Minister not responsible for screws?

Extraordinary statement by Richard Amery the New South Wales Corrective Services Minister who says if he were a prison officer he too would go on strike next week over a recent court decision.

About 3,500 prison officers across the state are expected to walk off the job on Monday and impose work bans on Tuesday.

The guards are outraged at a court decision to grant bail to two men who are accused of injuring prison officers during a riot at Goulburn jail earlier this year. The New South Wales Government is tightening laws to make sure the situation will not happen again, but Mr Amery says he sympathises with the guards' anger. "The prison officers are going to strike, as a minister I would ask them not to do so, I would try to solve this matter in another way," he said. "However if I were a prison officer of the day I would probably [be] voting to go on strike myself."

A Spokesperson for Justice Action Mr. Brett Collins said, " The courts must be responsible. Having a minister supporting actions against the courts, that's not his role. There should be no political pressure on the courts. Amery shows no control and no leadership by backing the prison strike."


Meanwhile, New South Wales Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham says he is very embarrassed by the accidental release of two prisoners from Goulburn jail this week.

An inquiry is being held into how the two prisoners were wrongly released on the same day. One of the prisoners was recaptured shortly after his release while the other is still on the run. Mr Woodham says human error was to blame one of the releases because documents were not double-checked by a senior officer.

"This should not have happened," he said. "I am embarrassed that it did happen and as I said there is an inquiry underway and we believe that there is going to be disciplinary action taken with clerical and custodial staff."

The problems the Department of Corrective Services are experiencing is because of bad policies by the Carr government leading to overcrowding and miserable conditions that continue to create frustration.

By Policy Adviser 2 December 2002

THE CHOOK: Put two rats in a cage and they'll live happily ever after. Put a hundred rats in a cage and they'll eat each other!


Games Prison Warders Play
We at Framed have a role in educating prisoners about the methods of gaoling, why they are applied and the consequences for all involved.

NSW Department of Corrective Services attack right to privacy
Corrective Services Minister Richard Amery has a problem attacking prisoners right to privacy.It seems to us that a civil society is best served when social justice laws are applied to all people regardless of their circumstances. Once government starts making exceptions which disadvantage certain groups and individuals, such laws are meaningless.

Litigants are drowning: in the High Court
There were so many self represented litigants appearing in the High Court that more than half of its registry staff's time was taken up in dealing with them. The "go it alone" litigants have to take on tasks well above their qualified league causing them stress. This growing problem cannot be left unchecked.

Everyone wants to get out of 'jail' but 'Framed' wants life: Rotten Ron on the ropes On 2 May 2002, Justice Action received a faxed letter from Manager of DCS Operations Support Branch saying that, in his view, articles in Framed edition #42 'lack balance and integrity' and he is therefore 'not prepared to recommend this issue of Framed for placement in to correctional centre libraries.' Prisoners and those concerned about prisoner issues have very few sources of information.

Methadone addicts formed within: 'NSW Prisons'
The New South Wales Opposition has accused the State Government of turning jailed heroin users into Methadone addicts.

Murder charge first for DNA data bank link, but not the same as solving the murder Mass DNA testing of prisoners has [allegedly] led to the first NSW case of a person being charged with a previously unsolved murder as a result of a controversial gene-matching data bank.

Medical Records: Alex Mitchell's lost world
Perhaps we can get your medical report and spew it around publicly so you can see how it feels. But surely we do not have to go that far. And of course we are law-abiding citizens and I should think it would be enough to remind you of your ethics to report at all.

Prisoners can prove innocence for $20?
Les Kennedy Daily Telegraph reported today that" Prisoners who believe that DNA will prove they were wrongly convicted will have the chance to prove their innocence for a mere $20 administration fee. The move comes 20 months after NSW inmates were asked to provide DNA for comparison with a databank of DNA from unsolved crime scenes for possible convictions.

NSW opposition pledges review of detention laws
A spokesperson for Justice Action Ms Anal Advice said " NSW Prisons are a sex offence if you have been raped, bashed and squatted down to be strip searched. People should be diverted from going there at all material times".

Civil libertarians condemn planned changes to prisoners' privacy rights The New South Wales Government is using a recent case involving [framed] serial killer Ivan Milat to justify its decision to remove the privacy rights of prisoners. But really just another attack on Ivan Milat from Parliament House.

Australian prisons are fast becoming the new asylums of the third millennium. The prison industry is booming, while Australia spends far less on mental health services than similar countries.

The punishment: Is the 'crime'
The punishment is the crime according to retired chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia Justice Alistair Nicholson. "Smacking a child ought to be seen as assault".

Mr. & Mrs. Mandatory Sentencing
Well congratulations to the bride and groom. Could you please be upstanding and raise your glasses for Mr. And Mrs. Mandatory.

Just wipe your arse on Ivan again Minister?
Mr Amery Minister for Corrective services has a problem with finding a toilet roll to wipe his bottom. Justice Action is appalled at the attacks by Amery and others in parliament on Ivan Milat's right to privacy and their attacks on the Privacy Commissioner and his office.

NSW prisons - primary industry bailed up!
In many quiet regional centres around NSW there is a new primary industry shaping up. It has something to do with Bail but not with bales. The minister for Agriculture Richard Amery who also has the prisons portfolio is now committed to farming prisoners.

NSW Parliament Bitter Pills To Swallow?
One delusion pill: So people who investigate their own mistakes make sure there was no mistake or someone else made the mistake. Perhaps you're not biased and you will be honest about it.

The Government is likely to abolish the Inspector General of Corrective Services position The Mulawa inspection report recommendations below strictly illustrate how important he is.

Black Nexus
The Separation of Powers Doctrine is nowcontaminated witharangeofcolours, now leaving us with a black shirt on a once blue bridge that crossed that thin blue line. The 'Amery and Woodham show'.

Prison Mind Games-Do they exist?
Directives are given inside the prison system that are not consistent with the law in NSW. And not in the good interests of the health and well being of the prisoners.

Chronology - A History of Australian Prisons
[Allegedly:] The events that have shaped NSW prisons - from convict days through royal commissions, to the Supermax of today. [I say allegedly because no one should trust Four Corners [Walls], why? Because they spill out the propaganda of the day for the Government, whether it be wrong or right. A government that lies and has no remorse about it.]