Wednesday, July 27, 2005

'A Nice Day Out' From Risdon Prison

Arranged for maximum-security prisoner 43637 Trustrum, Thomas Edward, by Justice Pierre W Slicer, Tasmania's Supreme Court human-rights an social-justice crusader.

(* quote from Supreme Court transcript 4 May 2005,page 36, para 40)

Prisoner Trustrum - age 73: At about 8am on my two nice days out arranged by former solicitor (now judge) Mr Pierre Slicer, on 4 May and 15 June this year, the yard-officer informed me that I was 'going to court'.

A 'yard' is a big wire cage containing about 40 cells and around 60-70 prisoners (half of the 3mtr-square cells are shared). There are six big wire cages altogether holding around 500 prisoners.

I was then marched form my cage by a guard, to what is called the 'reception centre', where prisoners ordinary cloths are stored in small' shoeboxes' for between 12-months and 30 years.

There is no similarity between Risdon prison's ugly little 'reception centre' and a real reception-centre on the outside.

Prisoners going on a nice day out to court or the Royal Hobart hospital can choose whether they wish to go in their prison track-suit and boots -- or in their crumpled suit and used shirt stored in their shoebox.

The big prison laundry is next to the ugly little 'reception centre' -- but prisoners are NOT ALLOWED to go on their nice days out in fresh, clean cloths.

Either way, you are then instructed to STRIP OFF and bend over, to allow your anus to be checked for concealed crowbars, cranes or helicopters. Your underpants and socks are 'shaken out' and your shoes or boots are peed in (correction -- peered in).

After you have dressed and stood upright again, you are handcuffed and bent over again to scramble and slither into the low prison van (without using your hands, because you are handcuffed) which takes you on your nice day out to court or hospital.

The inside of the small van is based on the design of a sardine-tin. The floor and two bench seats along each side are of shiny painted sheet-metal. There is nothing to 'hold onto' (even if you were not in handcuffs). This means prisoners are thrown around when the van is moving.

The sardine-tin usually carries three or four prisoners at a time on their nice days out to and from court -- but up to eight at a squeeze. The vehicle is also used for carrying sick or injured prisoners to and from the Royal Hobart hospital -- in handcuffs.

Once the guards have locked the bent-over, handcuffed prisoners in the sardine-tin, they get in the driver section; which is a separate compartment. This often causes prisoners anxiety as the guards cannot see or hear them -- and if the cheap old van were ever to collide and burst into flames, the prisoners would be BURNED ALIVE in handcuffs, as the fuel-tank is under their locked door!

(Prisoner Trustrum had noted on tv on several occasion after being jailed that prisoners and terrorists in Third World countries are often transported in small modern coachers. But in will obviously be many years before the Tasmanian government can afford the luxury Spirit of Tasmania Three ferry - which sails between Sydney and Tasmania mostly empty- and a small coach for Risdon's 500 prisoners.)

On arrival at court on your nice days out, you are marched to the cells below in your handcuffs and locked in, until your case is to be heard. Or you are marched through the Royal Hobart hospital (in handcuffs) if you are sick or injured. Or you are handcuffed to a stretcher or trolley.

After you nice day out in court or hospital, you are handcuffed and bent over again, to climb into the sardine-tin without using you hands (which are handcuffed) where you spend the next 20 minutes - or two hours if you are at Launceston - PRAYING that the old tin without springs will not collide with anything and burst into flames.

Eventually your nice day out in court or hospital in handcuffs, in a crumpled suit and dirty shirt, comes to an end as you arrive back at the ugly little 'reception centre' next to the big prison laundry.

Your crumpled suit and dirty shirt are thrown back in the shoebox again; ready for your next nice day out.

[Arranged by judge Pierre Slicer of the National Committee for Human Rights Education.]

Next -- prisoner Trustrum, 73, taken to Royal Hobart hospital. He is warned by mysterious visitor of plan by DPP Ellis - to kill him. Prison Governor Barber conceals the story.

By Just Us posted 27 July 2005


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