Friday, October 1, 2004

Indefinite detention means the government owns its citizens

A convicted rapist detained indefinitely in a north Queensland jail has lost a High Court appeal against his detention. Robert John Fardon was due for release more than a year ago but remains in custody under controversial Queensland legislation.

Fardon was first jailed for rape in 1980 and was released after serving eight years in prison.

What were his prior convictions? How many years was he in prison before 1980?

His term finished last year but the Queensland Attorney-General enacted new laws to keep him in prison indefinitely.

"arguing" "Fardon's refusal" to undergo rehabilitation to treat his sexual violence made him an unacceptable risk to the community.

So who argued that he did not agree with his treatment?
What rehabilitation was he offered in 24 years in custody? Because the prison said he did not undergo rehabilitation is that good enough for the community?

What inquiry satisfied the authorities that he did not get brutalised in prison or was not offered proper treatment? Was he locked in his cell so much so that he could not be bothered trying to improve himself? You can't just leave it there because prisons are not normal regimes.

After no rehabilitation or proper programs in prison was he brutalised?

For him to be released after eight years and twenty days later commit another brutal rape and sentenced to 14-years jail he had to have had left jail desperate the first time before there was a second victim?

This means if the government pay "no attention" to prisoners' in "their care", after they have committed a crime, then at all material times the prison regime take no responsibility" for the next "victim?

Or the 'treatment the prisoners' are suppose to receive in prison? Or the cost of warehousing the prisoner indefinitely picked up by the taxpayers.

The Department of Corrective Services inability to re-habilitate offenders is costing the community far too much and something more has to be done to ensure the community don't pay the price of the departments failures.

Neither does this outcome 'shine the light on prison authorities' - to further correct the way they are treating prisoners. The same as if you sent your car to the panel beaters and they bring it back to you written off! Would you pay?

Well in this case you will and now the precedent is set for you to pay for many others cases down the track of mistreatment of prisoners in custody as well, no doubt!

The taxpayers and the community pay the price as a result of the 'mistreatment of the prisoner' by Corrective Services who take no responsibility even though they have had this person in care for 24 years but still blame the prisoner?

Victim support groups have welcomed the High Court's decision; with victim's advocate Carmel Pierce saying the decision sets a precedent. "The bottom line with people is justice I think, and we haven't had that for a long time with sex offenders being released and then re-offending," she said.

Sure some people in the community who lack knowledge and understanding think they're getting a bargain because the "Sex Monster" is locked up forever at a cost of around $65-70,000 per annum after victimising the community at least "twice prior".

This is also about practical outcomes and controlling crime I hope. So we have no treatment in prison the first time after "one victim". Was he offered treatment the first time? Then a second "victim" and after no treatment we pay for indefinite detention for the rest of his natural life.

My question is! Who is going to be the next two victims of the next rapist that's mistreated? Those next two victims have to pay the price for a Corruptive Service that takes no responsibility and that's simply not good enough.

Today, in a six-one judgment the High Court found that if the Attorney-General can prove a prisoner is a serious danger to the community to the satisfaction of the Supreme Court it has the discretion to make a continuing detention order. Fardon has no further avenue of appeal.

By Pragmatism 1 October 04


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