Thursday, April 21, 2005

Justice Action V NSW

NSW Commissioner of Corrective Services Ron Woodham

My suggestion is that the Premier get Ron Woodham and Brett Collins into his office, and nut out a truce.

Ron Woodham the Commissioner of Corrective Services and Brett Collins of Justice Action and Breakout Print need to bury the hatchet.

The feud between these two is legendary, and is hindering an effective dialogue between the justice advocates of Justice Action and the Prison Administration who need some help from this community group in making our prisons more humane and effective in letting go of prisoners so they don't keep offending and returning to gaol.

Corrective Services and the main body of prison officers need community input, from an independent community group that can highlight various weaknesses in the system and supply solutions that ease the workload and stress that the officers invariably have to suffer.

Obesity, and high blood pressure are very common complaints that Prison Officers suffer from, that are work induced and often brought on by the stress of dealing with overcrowded and stressed prisoners. Ron Woodham himself suffers from acute diabetes. People often forget that a tough prison is very tough on Prison Officers.

The number of Prison Personnel with mental problems has been increasing over the last 5 years at an alarming rate. Just how many 'welfare officers' working in the system are overweight? Do these hard-working and overworked people deserve to die early and suffer illness because minor changes to the system are denied because of a personal feud between two men?

We might also remember that Bob Carr, the Premier of NSW, has used Ron Woodham as Commissioner of Prisons quite shamelessly to be seen to be 'tough on prisoners', to gain political points at the expense of both prisoners and Prison Officer's health.

As a full on diabetic Ron Woodham is in no position to stand up to the Premier. As an ex-prisoner, and exponent of the Bathurst Riots, Brett Collins helped change the system and whistle in the Nagle Report with its major changes to 'the system'. Collins needs to clean his ears out and listen to some common sense, good spokesperson though he is.

My suggestion is that the Premier get Ron and Brett into his office, and nut out a truce, that can usher in a new era of better understanding that will take the very considerable pressure off the Prison Officers whose only offence is that they turned up for a day's work. Never ever ever give in.

By Phil Ambler 21 April 05


Ex-Prisoner Locked Out of Prison
The NSW Department of Corrective Services (DCS) has revealed a policy which bans ex-prisoners from entering prisons.

Justice Action: Access to our community
NSW: Justice Action went to the NSW Supreme Court before the last Federal election on the constitutional right for prisoners to receive information for their vote. The government avoided the hearing by bringing prisoners' mobile polling booths forward. We pursued it after the election. This is the report.

NSW POLICE Commissioner Ken Moroney has issued an ultimatum as well, to the lawless youths holding Sydney's streets to ransom?: Learn some respect or face jail?

Tough line on crime fills jails
The tough law-and-order policies of governments around the nation are behind an explosion in the prison population by almost 80 per cent in the past two decades.

I am a prisoner in NSW and I am currently held in Parklea Prison. I am concerned about what is going on in NSW prisons and this is my story.

Parklea Prison: No calls for six days
The last calls that were made out of Parklea Correctional Complex by my partner, an inmate in remand at Parklea, was on Wednesday 2 February. The phone lines for the inmates have been out of service to this date.

Prison visits in crisis in NSW
The reason I am writing today is to address a difficult situation that my husband and my family are going through. My husband is currently serving a sentence at Lithgow Correctional Centre in NSW.

Prison boom will prove a social bust
Hardened criminals are not filling NSW's prisons - the mentally ill and socially disadvantaged are, writes Eileen Baldry.

The prison system requires assiduous oversight
As NSW Attorney General Bob Debus noted in 1996: "The kinds of complaints which occur in the system may seem trivial to outsiders but in the superheated world of the prison, such issues can produce explosive results."

Crime and Punishment
Mark Findlay argues that the present psychological approach to prison programs is increasing the likelihood of re-offending and the threat to community safety.

Justice Denied In NSW Corrective Services
There used to be a (VJ) or Visiting Justice who would go into the prison and judge any claim or accusation that was made by any prisoner or prison guard. If it were found that a prisoner had offended then punishment was metered out.

Prison guards test positive for drugs
NSW prison visitors banned from using the toilet The visit is only for about one hour and any thing less than that is an insult. If it's proved that a visitor has broken the rules the punishment should apply to them. But collective punishment on all visitors should not be made general when others haven't broken the rules especially if it restricts all visitors from normal human needs like using a toilet.

NSW prison visitors banned from using the toilet
The New South Wales Government has introduced several initiatives to stop contraband getting into prisons they said last Friday. But under the guise of "stricter rules" the department had also introduced banning all visitors including children from using the toilet unless they terminate their visit at any NSW prison after using the toilet.

Watchdogs slaughtered in NSW
On Tuesday the Carr Government reduced transparency and accountability yet again and New South Wales is in danger of becoming entrenched with cronyism and intimidations with the Carr Labor Government that continues to slaughter the watchdogs.