This letter is to request permission for an independent inspection team to examine the 75-cell HRMU at Goulburn Jail. The proposed inspection team consists of specialist doctors, jurists, members of the Corrections Health Service Consumer Council and prisoners representatives.
All are professionals and highly respected in the community. This request follows multiple reports of; arbitrary assignment to the unit, self-harm and mutilation, desperation, hunger strikes, sensory deprivation, psychological damage to prisoners held there, and conditions which fall below levels required under the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
Justice Action, as part of the Criminal Justice Coalition, was offered the opportunity to consult with Corrective Services in the design of the HRMU by the present Commissioner, Mr. Ron Woodham. Unfortunately, this invitation was not facilitated and as a result, we have no accurate, independent information on conditions inside the unit to allay community concerns.
Had JA been given the opportunity to consult, we would have proposed a design based on the Barlinnie Special Unit in Scotland. Barlinnie was developed as a social and humane response to the escalating cycle of violentm confrontation between prisoners and guards which was spinning out of control at Inverness prison. Barlinnie was described by the NSW Government as a:
Special long term unit for violent inmates offers high levels of privileges (e.g. unlimited visiting facilities), greater prisoner autonomy, input into running unit, contact with non-criminal outsiders, education and art programs, community meetings, and supportive staff-inmate relationship. Immediate expulsion from the unit for any physical violence. (Lawlink, Programs and Approaches to Reduce Prison Violence).
In his analysis of Barlinnie as an alternative to the Inverness cages, which operated under the same philosophy as the HRMU, Alistair Thomson wrote, (Barlinnie) has the wholehearted support of the Scottish Prison Officers Association.
It has arguably contributed to a reduction of tension in other prisons by isolating some of the system's worst troublemakers; it has allowed many of these difficult prisoners to cope with their long sentences in a positive manner and in several instances has facilitated an earlier return to the outside community than otherwise might have been expected. In a word, it has provided an alternative means of managing difficult prisoners. (Current International Trends in Corrections, 1988, p. 125)
The Special Care Unit (SCU) at Long Bay Correctional Centre was inspired by Barlinnie. The SCU was opened in 1981 to replace the Observation Unit, which was strongly criticised by the Nagle Report. The SCU was closed in 1997 because of lack of record-keeping which could give a measure of effectiveness.
The SCU was replaced by the Four-Stage Violence Prevention Program, which is housed within the Metropolitan Special Programs Centre (MSPC). The former Inspector General for NSW, Lindsay LeCompte commented, "At the Metropolitan Special Programs Centre (MSPC), for example, the Department has achieved considerable success with the programs that are being delivered there, due to the ability of that centre to concentrate its efforts and resources on focused strategies." (Report of an Inspection of Mulawa Correctional Centre 2002).
The key distinction between the Barlinnie model and the HRMU would appear to be in the degree of management directed by the prisoners themselves as opposed to direction by the Department. The operating philosophy of the SCU was, "Freedom with responsibility: responsibility to self and community." (Dr. Schwartz, Special Care Unit, Philosophy, Procedures and Achievements.)
Allowing prisoners to direct their own activity and choose their own community solves many problems for prisoners, officers, and the community they both return to when they leave the prison. When prisoners are able to choose their associates, it immediately reduces the incidents of rape, fights and the resentment of staff that can lead to riots. The officers chosen to staff the Barlinnie Special Unit were also volunteers. Ken Murray, one of the officers involved in the Barlinnie project said,
"the methods that we introduced into the Unit are based on a very simple attitude, that being that we should speak to the prisoners and suggest to them that we should, together find ways and means best suited for the method where we could live tolerably with each other. There's never been one single incident of a prison officer being attacked in the Special Unit by a prisoner. (Interviewed by Caroline Jones, ABC Radio, 5 October 1979)
Evaluation of the special care unit (at Long Bay Gaol, New South Wales)
Grantees: Dr D W Porritt, Research and Statistics Division, NSW Department of Corrective Services
Criminology Research Council grant ; (8/85)
The Special Care Unit (SCU) is a 20-bed self-contained unit within the NSW Department of Corrective Services which opened on 1 January 1980.
It has a short-term goal of assisting inmates with behavioural/psychological problems to adapt to the prison environment and a long-term goal to facilitate their rehabilitation back into society. The research was designed to evaluate the short-term goal, and to provide feedback on staff and prisoner perceptions of the benefits and/or problems of the unit.
A total of 140 inmates were interviewed either at entry to the unit, at exit or at three month follow-up, as well as 24 inmates in a comparison group. Several psychological tests were also administered including the Interpersonal Behaviour Survey, Jessness Behaviour Checklist, Lovibond's Self Analysis Questionnaire and Spielberger's Tait Anxiety Scale.
Interview results revealed that inmates had learnt to overcome initial apprehension about therapy groups with prison officers and were able to discuss themselves and their problems openly with most staff (including prison officers). They reported heightened self awareness and an improved ability to relate to other inmates and prison officers after leaving the unit. The results of psychometric tests showed statistically significant differences between groups but these did not have any clear interpretation.
Data were also analysed for a total of 45 questionnaires and 28 interviews from staff who had worked in the unit between April 1984 and June 1986. Staff reported enhancing their skills in working with inmates and particularly in dealing with angry or distressed prisoners.
More generally, other benefits and/or problems were reported by both staff and prisoners. The reported benefits appeared to derive from the unique environment created in the SCU when compared to the main gaol system. For instance, the high degree of mixed staffing was rated as having a 'positive effect on inmates' by 70 per cent of the staff, and none said that this had a negative effect.
Some staff also reported that they felt that working in the SCU improved their prospects for promotion and improved their interpersonal and communication skills. Some staff also said it improved their communication with their families. Inmates said that the unit offered them better conditions than the main gaol system (for example, more visits and phone calls, opportunity to wear their own clothes) and claimed that they enjoyed greater freedom in the unit.
Some of the problems mentioned by staff were difficulties adjusting to the unit, the location of the unit inside the walls of a larger prison, the selection of staff and inmates not being stringent enough, and lack of training resources for staff. Staff also mentioned that they felt inmates should be provided with more support after leaving the unit.
Some of the inmates said that they found it difficult to make the transition from the unit back to main gaol and would have liked more support. A few inmates mentioned that they felt the SCU program itself was very hard for them, because they found group counselling too confronting or they felt uncomfortable talking openly in a group.
Many of the inmates who had these difficulties did not complete their stay in the unit. More generally, a high non-completion rate was a continuing problem for the unit with a non-completion rate of 48 per cent for the period of this evaluation. Many inmates were expelled from the unit for non-work or drug use.
In short, the research provides some support for the conclusion that the SCU achieved its short-term goals; to enhance the ability of troubled prisoners to cope with the gaol environment through improved staff-to-prisoner and prisoner-to-prisoner relations.
The report makes recommendations based on the research findings to:
improve on the number of inmates who complete the program;
help inmates with stress imposed by the program;
support inmates and staff leaving the unit;
enhance the network of available programs;
implement a procedure to provide feedback on post-exit functioning of inmates;
provide a standardised assessment for staff in the unit; and
implement performance indicators for the unit.
4.1 Aims for Inmates
The unit aims to assist the individual towards improved social functioning which will benefit him in any social situation, be it in the prison system or outside in the community. The immediate objectives are thus changes in thought and action indicating more skilled and less problematic functioning in social situations.
The short-term objective is to assist inmates to modify their behaviour to enable them to fit back into the gaol system: and the longer term objective is to facili-tate their re-integration back into society. It must be recognised that, while changes in self-image and social skills can assist inmates to avoid further involvement in crime, other situational factors can easily overwhelm such gains.
Thus, the hopes expressed by inmates and staff for a reduction in recidivism have a realistic basis, but the unit cannot be judged in terms of reduced recidivism. The unit can be accountable for success in the immediate and short term objectives, but much more than these may be required for a programme to have a measurable impact on recidivism.
To achieve these objectives. Inmates have to become more responsible for themselves in relation to the immediate community in which they are living. Participation in a self-help programme of reality testing is the means through which greater personal and social responsibility is developed. Thus, participation in self-help and reality testing are complementary process goals, and development of a greater sense of personal responsibility an immediate desired outcome.
The more specific therapeutic aims of the unit largely depend on the individual inmate as the unit programme is tailored to reset their individual -needs. Therefore, the unit programmes aims to improve an individual's functioning in a variety of areas which are dictated by the inmate's presenting problems, as articulated in his goals.
4.2 Aims for Staff
The broad objectives for seconded and trainee staff, which are closely interrelated, are:
a) skill development in such areas 35 interviewing inmates and counseling;
h) staff re-education, i.e. to foster a greater awareness or inmates as people with problems and the ability of staff, as prison officers, to help them:
c) role re-definition and expansion of the work role which staff carry into the general prison system.
4. 3 Prison System
a) to reduce that number of troublesome prisoners, so that fewer are hard to handle:
b) to improve inmate-officer relationships throughout the system:
c) to humanise the prison system as a whole as ex-members of the unit - staff and inmates - return to the general prison population:
d) to give prison officers more experience in a complex role in the management of prisoners;
e) to increase the number of prison officers willing and able to be accountable to inmates by providing them with explanations.
In contrast, the HRMU followed in the tradition of the spectacular failures of Grafton and Katingal. Both were closed due to the damage they caused to the community, prisoners and the Department.
The Nagle Royal Commission said that Grafton was opened in 1942, "for the treatment of recalcitrant and intractable prisoners." In reality, this was officially-endorsed "brutality and sadism" by prison officers.
It was urged " that a regime of brutality such as existed at Grafton provided the only effective method of containing and controlling intractable prisoners. According to this argument, it was necessary to inculcate fear into the prisoners from the moment of arrival, and to maintain them in a high state of fear through their stay. Otherwise they would have become uncontrollable". It is a blight on the penal administration of this State that (these conditions) did occur once and were allowed to continue for nearly thirty-three years. (Nagle Report, p.119)
The Grafton unit was closed in 1976 as it had become " an acute embarrassment to the Department's senior officers" (ibid, p.118) and Katingal had been opened in 1975.
Katingal was designed for "the containment of dangerous violent criminalsÿ"which "arose directly out of (McGeechan's) general dissatisfaction with Grafton." (ibid, p.123) Katingal very quickly began to suffer from the same problems as Grafton, for the same reasons; the classification of prisoners as "the worst 1 per cent" allowed the abuse of authority that led to unacceptable conditions.
Dr. Houston considered that long-term incarceration of prisoners at Katingal would be detrimental to their mental health. Considerable discussion about sensory deprivation took place during the latter stages of Katingal's construction. Dr. Lucas made the point that solitary confinement can, in some circumstances, amount to torture. (ibid)
ABC Radio National said, "Katingal became a symbol of everything that was wrong with the state's prisons, a focus of public protest by an unlikely alliance of lawyers, journalists and unions" (Hindsight 13 October 2002) The Hon. Dr Meredith Burgmann described Katingal as, the high-tech unit at Long Bay gaol which is so high tech that it now cannot be converted to any other purpose. Indeed, it is built so strongly and is such a terrible obscenity of concrete and iron bars that it would cost a great deal to even demolish it. (Hansard Transcript, 4 March 1993).
Katingal was closed in 1978 following the recommendations of the Nagle Report.It would appear, from reports, that the HRMU has fallen victim to the same problems that caused the condemnation and closure of Grafton and Katingal. Specifically, prisoners are often assigned to the HRMU without justification, and have not been given any indication of when they will be returned to the prison population.
The issue of solitary confinement is a serious problem which does not seem to have been addressed in the design of the HRMU. Instead of addressing these concerns, Mr. Woodham stated, "There are a lot of lessons from the Katingal experience. Katingal had no perimetersecurity. Prisoners broke the unbreakable glass, they broke into it and they broke out of it." (SMH, May 14, 2001)
The Nagle Report recommended the English solution to the problem;
Katingal is not the only means whereby the prison community can be protected from its predators. The English penal authorities favour the dispersal system in which such prisoners are contained in one of a number of units dispersed through various prisons. There is no reason why the dispersal system cannot be resumed in New South Wales and the Commission considers it to be the proper method of containing dangerous prisoners. (Nagle, p. 131)
Dangers of Segregation Units
Had the Nagle Report's recommendation been followed, there would be no need for the HRMU to exist. By continuing the philosophy of the box inside a box, the Department of Corrective Services has in effect encouraged senior prison officers to abandon any attempt to rehabilitate and educate a sub-group of prisoners.
If troubling cases can be further removed from the prison population, oversight becomes negligible, and the result is structural and social brutality. Any attempt to use the prison experience to socialise, build community responsibility, and prepare the prisoners for release is abandoned.
Richard Harding, Inspector of Custodial Services in Western Australia acknowledged the inherent dangers involved in a prison within a prison.Whatever form it takes, the treatment of prisoners who are segregated from mainstream accommodation and services is a vital indicator of the health of a prison. From the prisoner perspective, if the experience of being taken "down the back" is seen as little more than the arbitrary and oppressive exercise of authority by line management, great tensions may build up over time.
For example, one of the immediate triggers for the riots of 25th December 1998 at Casuarina itself was the decision of officers to take a prisoner to the Special Handling Unit. Recent research (Kupers 1999 10) has indicated that "the forced idleness and isolation in these [segregation] units cause many previously stable men and women to exhibit signs of serious mental illness".
The Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia and New Zealand (1996), which are the domestic version of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, proceed from the assumption that separate confinement may well have a deleterious effect on physical or mental health: see Guidelines 5.33. - 5.34. (Report of an Unannounced Inspection of the Induction and Orientation Unit and the Special Handling Unit at Casuarina Prison, 2000, pp. 4-5) .
In a UK report on the "Close Supervision Centres", HM Inspectorate of Prisons reported, "The longest continuous stay on D wing was 206 days or almost seven monthsSÿ When the prisoners were asked how they coped, they listed a variety of strategies, but their main fear was of losing their minds. (Inspection of Close Supervision Centres, August - September 1999)
Reports from HRMU prisoners
The reports of tensions that have come to our attention are:
Prisoner A, who has been banging his head against the wall and has nearly severed his fingers by slamming the door on them, reports, This place is purposely built as a basic box in a box. Once our back door is closed there is no natural ventilation and no natural light." The lack of air in cells or claustrophobia are both related to it's a box and once I feel the walls closing in and I realise there is no air, no openings.
Yet I can see air and know its outside the door and that is what causes me to panic as I know I can't get to it." In other units the ASU or MPU I could always get to the grille and breathe in fresh air and after a few minutes I would feel better, in here one cannot do this.
These conditions were also reported by a visitor, constitute inhumane treatment, and violate the UN Standard Rules,
10. All accommodation provided for the use of prisoners and in particular all sleeping accommodation shall meet all requirements of health, due regard being paid to climatic conditions and particularly to cubic content of air, minimum floor space, lighting, heating and ventilation.
11. In all places where prisoners are required to live or work,
(a) The windows shall be large enough to enable the prisoners to read or work by natural light, and shall be so constructed that they can allow the entrance of fresh air whether or not there is artificial ventilation."
Prisoner B, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, was held on remand for "Assault & Malicious Damage" and was placed in a cell with a convicted prisoner on strict protection (regarded as a paedophile) on his first day in custody. The next day, the prisoner on strict protection was found dead, and this death was the reason given by Corrective Services for Prisoner B's placement in the HRMU.
The placement of Prisoner B with a convicted prisoner violated section 85 (1) of the UN Standard Rules; "Untried prisoners shall be kept separate from convicted prisoners." Prisoner C was placed in the HRMU, "following his involvement in a riot which caused significant damage to the centre."
However, Prisoner C claims he is innocent, and was never formally charged with this offence. This violates section 30 (2) of the UN Standard Rules; "No prisoner shall be punished unless he has been informed of the offence alleged against him and given a proper opportunity of presenting his defence. The competent authority shall conduct a thorough examination of the case."
We respectfully submit that in the light of these reports, an independent inspection is needed to assess the nature of conditions in the unit and compare them to the social alternative. At the very least this will reassure the public that conditions in the HRMU are humane.
We would be grateful if you acknowledged receipt of this letter by fax, and urgently accede to the request.
Thank you for your consideration.
By Justice Action Posted Gregory Kable 5 June 03
CRC funded reports 1983-1984
CRC funded reports 1996-1997
MJA - BBCD Outbreaks in NSW prisons
Seems some of our friends in & around Corrections Health Service (CHS) were able to take advantage of a couple of recognised cases of needle sharing by HIV positive prisoners to gather data for a study.
As an ex-Grafton intractable (1971-1975) and the only living ex-prisoner to have served the longest time inside Katingal (1975-1978) I feel qualified to offer the following personal observations:
Intolerable Conditions of Prisoners at Goulburn's HRMU
We wish to with respect, level a serious complaint against the Chief Executive Officer, Corrections Health Services, Dr Richard Matthews.
SIX YEARS IN HELL - The Sorry Saga of Ivan Robert Milat
This month, May 2003, Ivan Milat will have spent six years in segregation/isolation without any charges, enquiry, or breach of prison rules levelled against him.
NSW death in custody, false imprisonment, and assault
Knight's case sparked headlines after it emerged that his suicide in John Moroney Correctional Centre [prison] in Sydney on January 22 occurred 18 days after his official release date.
Victorian (Australia) Juvenile Deaths in Custody & Post-Release has just been published on the British Journal of Medicine Quotes (BJM): "The risk of death was nine times higher in male offenders than in the reference Victorian male population. Although the estimate is unstable because of the small number of deaths, female offenders seemed to be about 40 times more likely to die than the reference Victorian female population."
The Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986 Qld
The Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986 (Qld), requires that any person who has committed an offence which is less than 10 years old or which resulted in a prison sentence of more than 30 months, must disclose that offence if requested eg. for employment purposes. If a criminal record is disclosed in a job application, it is unlikely that person will be given the job.
NSW Serious Offenders Review Council
In response to a letter we have received from Mr K C who has said that he is serving 24 years and 10 months commencing on 29/8/1991 with his earliest release date being 28/6/2016 with 4 years parole and full time 28/6/2020. He said that he contacted the Serious Offenders Review Council in writing but received no response.
Justice Action's complaints about ACM to the NSW Ombudsman fell on deaf ears The Federal Government is reviewing allegations that the company it pays to run Australia's detention centres the same company who runs Junee Jail in NSW has fraudulently reduced staffing levels in at least one centre to increase its profits.
Token Parole Board reforms silent on Govt bungle
The Carr governments token reforms of the Parole Board are minimalist and still fail to explain the election cover-up of mismanagement, which contributed to an inmate's [a prisoners] death.
PAROLE BOARD REWARDED? FOR DEADLY MISTAKE
The Justice Minister has released government reforms to the Parole Board following the death of an aboriginal inmate, which was due to a Parole Board error.
Sentencing innovation breaks vicious circle of jail terms
"Three months' jail for one punch in a pub fight is too much," said the victim. The victim's comment counted because he and the offender, Robert Bolt, a Nowra Aborigine, were making history in the first case of circle sentencing, a new way of deciding punishment for indigenous offenders.
Letter from the mother of a prisoner on remand at the High Risk Management Unit Goulburn Correctional Centre I am writing to give you permission to make any inquiries on my behalf as I am invalid pensioner who doesn't drive and been only well enough to travel by train once in 15 months to see my son Scott Simpson. I have enclosed a copy of Scott's letter and also a copy of gaol papers form I have to fill out and wait to see if I'm allowed in to see him. He doesn't get any visits. He is in the Supermax and deprived of any privileges not even legal Aid will fund a solicitor to see him in Goulburn.
WA Jail trade in 'sex for favours'
THE West Australian Government has ordered an inquiry into claims guards at Perth's main women's prison are trading favours for sex, and encouraging inmates to form lesbian relationships.
NSW prisons over-crowded. Gov't orders investigation into death in custody
In January this year, a 23-year-old Aboriginal prisoner was found hanging in his cell in a Sydney jail 18 days after he was due to be released.
Yes Minister: 'Justice Action meets John Hatzistergos Justice Mininster' We have taken a few days to pass this on, as we wanted clarification of the minister's statement about the purposes of imprisonment before publishing it.
Beyond Bars Alliance colleagues
There are certainly problems with the IG's terms of reference and the position is not nearly as strong as it should or could be but it should not be lost it should be strengthened (along the lines of the UK IG of Prisons) to provide an independent voice to the Parliament regarding activities and processes that otherwise happen behind prison walls.
Submissions for Review of Inspector General
There is a very serious attack happening on the office of the NSW Inspector General of Corrective Services. A secret and flawed review is taking place at this moment, and we call upon all individuals and organisations interested in the area to make their views known.
Two thirds of a billion dollars and DCS can't work out what authority they have? "Two thirds of a billion dollars of taxpayers money and the Department of Corrective Services can't work out what authority they have to hold the people who are in jail."
Australia: Private Prisons, Junee NSW
When I got to Junee I was given nothing except bed linen. That's it! No clothing. I had to put my name down for clothing, which they said I could get on Saturday. When I went down to get my clothing on Saturday I was told they had nothing but I was told that I could buy what I wanted on their monthly buy-up. In the mean time I got rashes between my legs from the dirty clothes I had on.
Justice Action meets with new Minister for Justice
John Hatzistergos Minister for Justice is meeting with Brett Collins and Justice Action today at 11:30 a.m.
ARUNTA PHONE SYSTEM: IDC Lithgow Prison
The prisoners of Lithgow Correctional Centre have requested that the Lithgow Inmate Development Committee write to you on their behalf and ask that the phone systems heavy burden upon the prisoners at this institution and their families be reviewed. I will outline the problems.
Health problems denied in prison
Lithgow Correctional Centre (IDC) Inmate Development Committee "Currently there are 72 inmates on the doctors waiting list with only one doctor coming fortnightly and usually on a weekend".
'Old guard dog' dig in heels on NSW Govt front bench - The rolling of the filthy heads... The New South Wales Premier is yet to convince at least one of his long-standing ministers to stand aside to make way for new blood on the front bench.
NSW Prisons Inmate Development Committee speaks out
I am writing on behalf of the IDC Inmate Development Committee in area 3, MSPC at Long Bay. Area 3 is where, the Department is congregating minimum-security offenders within maximum-security walls whilst awaiting mandatory programs at Cubit (Sex Offenders Program).
THE GULAG TREATMENT - The Trauma Of Court Appearances When Incarcerated Prisoner transport vehicle 10th January 2003 It's about 4.40am, very darkoutside and although I'm expecting it, it is still intrusive when my dreams are interrupted by the sound of my name, it is the officer checking that I'm awake ready to face the long day ahead.
Sir David Longland Correctional Centre
If it were possible to characterize the term B Block attitude in a modern dictionary, it would read something like "demeanor of inhabitance" or "state of mind or behaviour of occupants".
SIR DAVID LONGLAND CORRECTIONAL CENTRE QLD - CELLS IN B BLOCK The cells in B Block are like no other in any Queensland prison. After Mr. Cooper was severally embarrassed by the Abbott and Co escape on 4th November 1997, he visited B Block and the surrounding grounds. It was that visit, by Cooper, that set in motion a plan (up the ante) to make sure security in B Block would never embarrass him again. It was like closing the gate after the horse has bolted.
Inspector General Ignored On Womens Prison
Four months after a report from the Inspector General on Mulawa Correctional Centre, key recommendations involving safety and welfare of prisoners and staff have been ignored. Kathryn Armstrong (former chair of Inmate Development Committee) and Annabel Walsh, released from Mulawa Womens Prison in February, have produced an independent report confirming the findings of the Inspector General.
Distribution of: 'How to Votes in prisons'?
Justice Action have received information from Andrew Burke of the NSW Greens that they have enquired with the Department of Corrective Services as to the procedure for distributing their How To Votes in prisons in the period before the election.
Getting Justice Wrong DPP make full admissions
Back in May 2001 Nicholas Cowdery QC made an error at law by giving a speech called Getting Justice Wrong at the University of New England, Armidale Thursday, 31 May 2001. Sir Frank Kitto, Lecture now published at the DPP website. At page six, paragraph 3 under the heading:
NSW ELECTION 2003: VOTE 1 GREENS
Inspector-General: The Greens believe that the role of the Inspector-General is crucial to the proper functioning of the prison system. It has never been more important to have a powerful watchdog role than today. Section 3.11 of our Criminal Justice Policy commits the Greens to "strengthening the role of the Inspector-General of Prisons."
Long Bay Prison: The latest inside story
Private food purchases called Buy-Ups that normally take care of the prisoners additional food nutrition in Jail has been changed.
Doing time even harder: 146 prisoners far from home
The United States, however, has detained without trial about 650 men from 43 countries. They include Australians David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, who are held at the Guantanamo Bay naval base as part of the sweep against global terrorism [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's, pre-emptive strikes, occupation and genocide for resources in the Middle East.]
Human Rights 'Framed'
Here is a quick report on our Human Rights Commission approach on Framed (the quarterly magazine of Justice Action) being banned from all NSW prisons. After 42 issues went in.
Prison Privatisation: Death camps looming in NSW
I asked for the identification of the person I was speaking to and was told that I was not entitled to that information. I needed to verify the call and asked for a name or number to register my call because I was asked to get those details by my coordinator.The person refused to identify themselves either by name or number. I asked to be transferred to a senior person and was refused. The person I spoke to then hung up the phone.
Justice Action criticises Govt's victim voice policy
Victims are not being properly considered in compensation and no expression is given to them, of community goodwill. A spokesperson for Justice Action Mr Brett Collins said, "No community expression or concern is given to the victims of crime. They feel their pain is not acknowledged by the government which tries to balance pain against pain. Never! The community is being misled."
NSW education professor warns further commitment needed
The author of a report on the New South Wales education system has urged the major political parties to do more for education in the election campaign.
Coalition proposes to exploit children
The Coalition says it would reform juvenile justice in New South Wales to require the courts to "get tough" on juvenile crime.
Corrections Victoria and criminal acts: SCS-4\320 UPDATE
You have stated "Section 30 of the Corrections Act 1986 and the Information Privacy Act 2000, restricts the release of confidential information regarding prisoners, I therefore am unable to provide any information regarding this matter."
Death camps looming in Victoria
A letter was received on 15 January 03 from SCS-4\320 a remand prisoner in Victoria's Barwon Prison I later found out that the prisoner was in the Acacia High Security Unit.
Jail search finds knives, syringes
Mr Brett Collins a spokesperson for Justice Action said, "It shows there is a lot of desperation in the prison system at the moment and has been for some time."
Take crime talk beyond the bars:'lobby group'
A coalition of academics, crime experts, welfare and church groups is preparing to launch an intensive pre-election campaign aimed at refocusing the attention of NSW politicians from harsh sentencing reforms to crime prevention strategies.
Six weeks, six months, six years: inmates have little chance of making fresh start More than 15,500 people are released from NSW prisons each year, twice the number of 20 years ago. But new research shows many ex-prisoners find it impossible to reintegrate into society and, months after release, are worse off than before they went to jail.
Fiona Stanley, the children's crusader
It is all about prevention. As Fiona Stanley sees it, with one in five Australian teenagers experiencing significant mental health problems, there are just not enough treatment services to cope with the demand.
Attempted thong theft costs $560
A man has been fined $500 after appearing in a northern New South Wales court charged with stealing a pair of thongs.
NSW A-G moves to stop criminals and ex-criminals selling stories
From next month criminals or ex-criminals who try to profit (earn a living for paid work, like writing a book etc..) from their crimes in New South Wales will have the proceeds confiscated.
NSW Govt criticised over criminal justice record
Key criminal justice groups have described the New South Wales Government's record on justice issues as a "disappointing performance".
APPOINTMENT OF KLOK IS: 'DECLARATION OF WAR'
The decision of the Carr government to appoint John Jacob Klok as the new Assistant Commissioner for Corrective Services in charge of security represents a statement of contempt to all those concerned about law and justice in NSW.
How NSW Dept of Corrective Services spent $800,000 dollars to rehabilitate a Sydney man sentenced to life for second murder! A spokesperson for Justice Action Mr Pro Grams said, "Well it's your money, how would you like it spent? And what do you think about rehabilitation on behalf of the Department of Corruptive Services?
Prisoners Representatives Excommunicated
Ron Woodham, Commissioner Corrective Services stated "[this Department] does not recognise Justice Action as an advocate on correctional centre issues." He has ordered a ban on all Justice Action material inside the NSW prison system. This resulted from a request for the approval of the latest edition of Framed (the Magazine of Justice Action) to be distributed throughout NSW prisons as has occurred for the past ten years.
Academic devises scheme for low income earners to pay back fines:
A professor at the Australian National University [another one of John Howard's hand picked losers like Peter Saunders the social services head-kicker has come up with a scheme which could see low income earners pay back criminal fines over a period of time.
Dept of Corrective Services: Rotten Ron Woodham on the ropes
This is The Freeedom Of Speech and The Press in a goldfish-bowl! Herr Goebells has spoken. Zieg Heil! (Which means, actually: "aim-for health!" incidentally)Apologies for not making meetings ... my first experiences with Woodham (then a -screw-gestapo-minor-with-a-friendly-dog - AND YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS WHEN EVEN HIS DOG DOESN`T LIKE HIM?)
At the Minister's Pleasure The case of Michael Kelly
Michael is caught up in a particularly cruel version of the game of Cat and Mouse. Because he is classified as a forensic patient under the Mental Heath Act of NSW, the Minister for Health is his master, not the Minister for Corrective Services. And the Minister for health will not let him go.
EX-PRISONER UNEMPLOYMENT: SENTENCED FOR LIFE
Name removed by request served time in prison decades ago. Shes still being punished today. According to commonwealth and state legislation, ex-prisoners applying for jobs must declare any conviction that fits into the following categories: less than 10 years old, more than 10 years old but served more than 30 months in prison.
ARE YOU INNOCENT?
The Australian Law Reform Commission had recommended that the Innocence Panel be independent and have the power to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice.
RESTORING TRUE JUSTICE:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
Govt, police 'let off the hook' Haneef inquiry
8 years ago