Monday, July 18, 2005

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.]

[Here we go now!]


Convicts are initially housed in tents. Then – until barracks are built – they must find their own accommodation in town. They work part of the day for the government and use the rest of the day to work privately and pay their rent.
»Descriptions of convict life


The demand for labour grows and a system of "assigned service" develops where convicts are assigned to private masters.
»Convicts and the European settlement of Australia


A parliamentary committee recommends the building of new prisons at Sydney and Parramatta. It is proposed that prisoners be physically isolated from one another and banned from communicating with each other.


Transportation to NSW ends.


An inquiry into the administration of Darlinghurst Gaol finds "debauchery, drunkenness and irregularity of every kind" and the officers involved are dismissed.
»The Old Darlinghurst Gaol


Allegations of cruelty at Berrima Gaol lead to a royal commission. It recommends that gagging and the practice of "spreadeagling", where prisoners are chained to a wall, be abolished.


Captain F.W. Neitenstein is appointed chief administrator of NSW prisons and he brings about reforms that lead to a halt on the imprisonment of children and the placement of mentally disturbed people in prisons.


A separate prison for women is constructed at Long Bay.


Leg-ironing of prisoners in transit is stopped. Prisoners at Emu Plains and Tuncurry are allowed to play cricket and football and bathe in the river or surf.


Reading of newspapers allowed but controversial articles are cut out to prevent any difference of opinion which could lead to disorder.


Bathing allowed each working day instead of twice weekly. Calling at half-hourly intervals by night guards is abandoned. Lights in cells allowed.


The principle of the penal diet - food given according to the amount of work performed that day - is abandoned. Instead bonus payments are introduced for work beyond the allotted task.


Prisoners serving two or more years allowed writing materials in their cells.

World War II

Increasing tensions in the state's prisons and a number of serious assaults on prison officers lead to Grafton Gaol being used to house the most intractable prisoners. The penal methods at Grafton over the next 33 years are described as a 'regime of terror', 'brutal, savage and sometimes sadistic'. This period is labelled as 'one of the most sordid and shameful episodes in NSW penal history'.

"It became abundantly clear during the Commission’s hearings that the arduous duties required of [Grafton’s prison] officers largely consisted of inflicting brutal, savage, and sometimes sadistic physical violence on the hapless group of intractables who were sent to Grafton." Extract, the Nagle Report, p134.


A report on prison reform finds overcrowding at Long Bay. It recommends that sewerage replace pan systems in major gaols and that prisoners should have two more hours each day out of their cells.


The Katingal project proposes to house six categories of violent prisoners, including top protection cases, at Long Bay in special cells devoid of light and without the programs or privileges available to prisoners at other gaols. Katingal Gaol is built in secrecy.

1970 »Bathurst Gaol


February There is a second, larger riot at Bathurst Gaol. Petrol bombs are thrown about the prison complex and officers fire on inmates. The gaol is gutted by fire and costs $10 million to rebuild.


Katingal Gaol, designed exclusively for violent prisoners, opens. There is no natural light in the cells, all the doors are electronically operated, food is passed through the hatch and prisoners are allowed no direct contact with prison officers. It costs $15m and is well over budget.


On the eve of the state election, Justice Nagle of the Supreme Court of NSW is appointed to head a royal commission to investigate the Bathurst prison riots.


Russell [Labelled by the media] 'Mad Dog' Cox saws through two iron bars and escapes from the exercise yard at Katingal Gaol.


The report by Royal Commissioner Nagle recommends more than 250 sweeping changes to the penal system. Most are implemented. He finds that the NSW Department of Corrective Services and ministers of both major parties had unofficially sanctioned the systematic brutalisation of prisoners at Grafton Gaol.

The Wran Labor government begins reform. A new corrective services commission is established under chairman, Dr Tony Vinson.

Justice Nagle condemns Katingal as an expensive "electronic zoo". Recommendations from the Nagle report result in the closure of Katingal Gaol, after only three years of operation.

"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." ABC Hindsight, 13 October, 2002.


Goulburn Gaol inmates allege beatings by prison officers. A magistrate's inquiry finds evidence of assault by four officers, but no criminal charges are laid.

October A peaceful sitdown protest is held by inmates at Parramatta Gaol after the Wran Government’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against prison officers implicated in the Bathurst riots.


Prison officers become frustrated at the swift pace and direction of the changes to penal administration - particularly on issues relating to prisoner rights - and react with a series of strikes. The Wran Government backs down.


Remissions now apply to the non-parole period rather than just the head sentence reducing the length of sentences actually served, as recommended by Nagle.

Allegations surface that the NSW Minister for Corrective Services, Rex Jackson, had accepted payments in return for granting early release to certain prisoners.


A task force finds 78 per cent of women in gaol are addicted to alcohol or drugs, especially heroin.


The Minister for Corrective Services, Rex Jackson, is convicted of conspiracy in relation to the early licence release scheme. Remissions are subsequently abolished.

October The Hawke Federal ALP Government announces a Royal Commission to investigate the deaths of 99 Aborigines in police and prison custody over a period of nine years.


Geoffrey Pearce, a 22-year-old probationary prison officer at Long Bay Gaol, is stabbed by an inmate with a syringe containing HIV-infected blood. The Government cracks down on personal items in cells resulting in fires and riots by inmates across the state. Pearce subsequently tests positive to the virus and in 1997 he dies from an AIDS-related illness.


The final report on Aboriginal Deaths in Custody makes more than 300 recommendations. The report finds that the disproportionate rate at which Aboriginal people are arrested and imprisoned in Australia is the principal explanation for their deaths. The Commonwealth says it will spend $400 million over five years to implement the recommendations. Critics subsequently claim that implementation has been slow and piecemeal.
»Final Report: Aboriginal Deaths in Custody


NSW Prisons Minister Michael Yabsley says that rape is "inevitable" in prison and that fear of rape might be a useful "deterrent factor" to those thinking of offending.


The first privately managed prison in NSW, the Junee Correctional Centre, opens.


The Australian Institute of Criminology reports a 40 per cent increase in deaths in custody over the past two years. 72 people died in custody in 1992/93; compared with 57 and 58 in the two previous years.
»Australian Institute of Criminology


The 900-bed Metropolitan Reception and Remand Centre opens at Silverwater, Australia’s largest correctional centre [prison.]


An inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) into Corrective Services finds officers developed improper relationships with inmates by accepting bribes to tamper with prison documents.
»ICAC Report: Betrayal of trust


A NSW parliamentary committee finds that the number of women being jailed has grown alarmingly. The committee report details a 40 per cent increase in the female prisoner population since 1994; with a 14 per cent increase of Aboriginal women in custody. Female prisons are rife with drug addiction, suicide mental illness.
»Select Committee on the Increase in Prisoner Population, Interim Report: Issues Relating to Women


'Ethnic clustering' - dividing inmates according to race - is introduced at Goulburn Gaol to make prisoners easier to control. Aboriginal, Pacific Islander, Arabic and European prisoners are separated, with no contact between groups allowed.

The AU$20m Supermax (High Risk Management Unit) [Torture Chambers] opens in Goulburn, NSW, for the State’s most [alleged] dangerous killers [convicted, and framed] as well as those charged with terrorist offences [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource wars in the Middle East.] Complaints are made about a lack of natural light and air, isolation, deprivation of association and a generally harsh environment and regime.

October A conference hears that mentally ill prisoners are locked in their cells at Long Bay prison for up to 23 hours a day and that 800 inmates require medical treatment to deal with acute mental illness, but only 90 beds are available at Long Bay’s hospital wing.

'Ethnic clustering' is strongly criticised in an internal report, which finds the practice increases tension and [encourages gang formation.] A crackdown begins on [alleged] gangs, with 100 inmates identified as having serious gang affiliations. An internal report shows they are responsible for drug-running, prostitution, gambling rackets, standover tactics and theft. [An internal report by who DCS? People who investigate themselves. Hence the outcome is seriously flawed and in doubt!]


"Standard minimum terms" are introduced for a range of serious offences. These sentences can be reduced or increased by a range of mitigating or aggravating circumstances under the common law, thus retaining judicial discretion.

A report finds that gangs operate at three maximum security gaols - Silverwater, Lithgow and Goulburn - presenting major challenges to the safety of inmates and staff.
[An internal report by who DCS? People who investigate themselves. Hence the outcome is seriously flawed and in doubt!]


Leaders of ethnic gangs controlling crime and street warfare from behind bars are rounded up into an isolation wing of Parklea Gaol. One other leader is sent to the Supermax.


There are approximately 9,000 prisoners in NSW gaols, a 40 per cent increase over the past decade. To meet the demand the Department of Corrective Services continues to construct new facilities.

After persistent requests to NSW Corrective Services authorities, Four Corners obtained permission to film inside this secretive and forbidding place.

There is quiet as the camera roams the corridors and recesses. Occasionally a prisoner’s catcall pierces the silence. The security regime overwhelms all. Everyone, including staff, undergoes at least two X-rays daily to stop weapons or drugs or phones being smuggled in. Even the food is X-rayed.

Contact between inmates [prisoners] is strictly controlled. More than two’s a crowd – and under the rules those two will be outnumbered by prison officers. Authorities do not want charismatic prisoners winning followers and plotting trouble.

Journeying into the futuristic, hi-tech Supermax is also a venture back into history, to the darkest corner of a nation that grew over two centuries from a community of prisoners and prison guards. For Supermax is surrounded by the original 19th century stone of Goulburn prison.

A spate of murders at Goulburn has led to an official policy of "ethnic clustering" where Asians, Aborigines, Islanders and Middle Eastern inmates are segregated in different yards. 'Ethnic clustering' is strongly criticised in an internal report, which finds the practice increases tension and [encourages gang formation. Chook fights?]

[Brutality and Torture]

Out of sight but on constant alert for murders and riots are the Immediate Action team or, in prison parlance, the "gang squad", armed with batons and chemical spray. Another elite group, the Hostage Response Team, is trained to shoot to kill. Four Corners films with these specialist groups as they undergo field training. [So the system was responsible for encouraging gang formation and then the system brutalises and tortures the very prisoners they encouraged.]

Supermax and Goulburn are at the sharpest end of [Torture and Brutality causing people Mental Illness, Human Rights Abuse, Death in Custodya and even houses remand prisoners.] Australia’s historic debate on prison reform. [?] While crime rates have fallen, the politicisation of law and order has seen imprisonment rates climb, especially among women, Aborigines and the mentally ill. The nation’s prison population has doubled since the 1980s. Never has there been such pressure on the system.

By Four Corners [Walls] 7 November 05

On any of the issues described above, for the real truth about it see links below.


The pre-requisite to visit the HRMU is a security check that can take up to six months. Complaint to the NSW Ombudsman 2004.


Association for the Prevention of Torture
The Optional Protocol requires 20 ratifications to enter into force. All States Parties to the UN Convention against Torture should seriously consider ratifying the OPCAT as soon as possible. National Institutions and others promoting the human rights of people deprived of their liberty need to be informed of their potential role as national preventive mechanisms under the OPCAT.

Corrected or Corrupted
A psychiatrist from the prison Mental Health Team attached to Queensland Health made the comment that 25 per cent of inmates suffer from a diagnosed mental illness.

ICOPA XI International Conference on Penal Abolition
We are excited to announce that ICOPA X1, the eleventh International Conference on Penal Abolition will happen in Tasmania, Australia from February 9 - 11,2006. Please pass this onto all networks.

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.

14,500 children in NSW go to bed each night with a parent in prison!

In memory of the late Bob Jewson
Some will remember that Bob was In the Bathurst riot in February 1974 and was a leading member of the Prisoners Action Group now - (JusticeACTION) upon his release. He wrote Stir, the screenplay upon which the film Stir was based. He played a major role in agitating for a Royal Commission into the events at Bathurst, and when the Nagle Commission commenced hearings Bob was to be found every day sitting in court for the duration, following proceedings for the PAG.

High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) INSPECTION
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).

Mental Health Tribunal recommendations on forensic inmates
Below is the answer we have received from the Minister for Health regarding prisoners recommended for parole or release by the Mental Health Tribunal FYI.

Isolation, psychiatric treatment and prisoner' control
The 2003 NSW Corrections Health Service (now Justice Health) Report on Mental Illness Among NSW Prisoners states that the 12 month prevalence of any psychiatric disorder in prison is 74%, compared to 22% in the general community, and while this includes substance disorder the high rate cannot be attributed to that alone.

Australian Prisoners in Solitary Confinement:

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.

Goulburn Jail breaches UN standards
NSW: Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has called on Justice Minister John Hatzistergos to bring Goulburn Jail's Maximum Security Wing into line with United Nations standards, after a prison inmate's covert survey of his fellow inmates revealed problems with rehabilitation programs and basic amenities.

Where the Norm is Not the Norm: HARM-U
In the absence of public policy, this paper is an attempt to shine a light through the rhetoric and test for coherency in the policy and function of NSW’s only supermax prison, the High Risk Management Unit. Its present use will be compared with the ‘vision’ flogged by the Premier and the Department of Corrective Services (the Department) at its inception in 2001.

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.

Prisoner Abuse Not Just in Iraq
The shocking revelations of abuse of prisoners by US prison guards in Iraq have been denounced by politicians around the world, including our own Prime Minister.

NSW Prisoners' linked to Osama Bin Laden: Ten News
NSW prisoners held in a "box within a box" with "no fresh air or sunlight" at the countries terrorist jail (HRMU) or High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn Correctional Centre, (a super-max prison in NSW), are said to have followed Osama Bin Laden from their isolated cells.

Conditions in the HRMU
Justice Action is trying to obtain documents on behalf of prisoners held in the Goulburn High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) from the Federal Attorney General's Department, Corrective Services Minister's Conference regarding the process described below, in which the Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia were adopted. This documentation will help explain the justification for the conditions in the HRMU.

We the prisoners at the High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn Correctional Centre would like to ask you for help in receiving equal treatment and opportunities as other prisoners throughout the system. As we are told that we are not in a segregation unit but we are treated as though we are in one.

On the treatment of prisoners at the NSW HRMU
Prisoners sister's letter from her brother: Following our phone conversation some weeks ago I would like to set out a few points on the treatment of prisoners in the High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn (Super Max) (Guantanamo Bay).

Escape proof but not so the prisoners mind
Fewer prisoners escape from prison these days because they're "cemented in" by materials that do not break and by legislation that can keep prisoners in jail until they die.

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.

High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) INSPECTION
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.

Carr's Castle the real story H.R.M.U.The High Risk Management Unit Goulburn Correctional Centre. A prisoner writes, " I was unsuccessful in my letters to Dr Matthews CEO of the Corrections Health Service on my problem regarding air - claustrophobic effect the cells have on me. Just recently the management decided my injuries are not seriously affecting me so no further discussions are necessary.

More Prison Links History

Two thirds of a billion dollars and DCS can't work out what authority they have? Internal inquiry launched after death in custody. [?] "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.

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:

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".

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.

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.

The Australian Law Reform Commission had recommended that the Innocence Panel be independent and have the power to investigate alleged miscarriages of 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.

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.

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.