Department of Corrective Services 

Rotten Ron Woodham on the ropes

            Commissioner Of Corrective Services?

Friends in oppression and tribulation:

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?)

Were semi-comic. Without a lie: his dog was always stoked to see me.Then Ro(t)n put a muzzle and short-lead on him so he couldn't greet or lick me. Ro(t)n had his bosses select me as a regular for searches for drugs in the MTC in `77 because of my musicianship, dreads and beard and media-activities.

Conditions were much better in those days because many prisoners were native-sons in for only pot or narcotics-related offences as the drug-war heated-up through the seventies/eighties and nearly a third of a generation of us were targeted by police continuously throughout our teens and twenties: we had the public's empathy, which reflected in the prison-statistics: less crowded gaols, in spite of a reactionary-media and exploitive politicians.

Somebody (maybe me) nicknamed Ro(t)n "the fox" because of those eyes of his. Used to re-arrange the furniture every Sunday night after he turned me over. Would've preferred studying and sleeping - playing music and smoking and reading. Same as usual, but I was a criminal -and dealing is what most officers of authority in NSW relish most - a `criminal to be dealt-with`.

Never underestimate the literary-value of legal or popular-press-cliche-phrasing, or the spin-off lingual-historical cultural-determinations, their results in society. Dig it?

Codes of corruption built into what Somerset Maughm described as "... the greatest democracy in the world, where nobody is beyond corruption." Except nobodies.

I bet Ro(t)n still looks the same as then - in short, like any fox: crazy, dangerous when cornered. Speaking of which, 
how on Earth did he survive the Rex Jackson Affair?

Could this be his Achilles-Heal? Any research? (Please forward any information about (former?) M.T.C. Parole Probation Officers John Henkelmann and Colleen Sutherland a.s.a.p. - Are EITHER still ambient in The Department?

Anybody know where these hoodlums can be found at present?) Any Dirt on the record? Any witnesses with guts? (Can anyone their spell Ackilles?) he was buyable or `shonky`, as I heard it - as indirectly phrased by him to me, ie.: ".. if you want me to "visit" less, we can talk about it ..." -even back then? (Perhaps he wanted me to nark for him ... but I never forgot that). Defamatory? Him? Ha. You must be joking! How do you defame a fox? Ergo, the old Boogaboo in the corrective services is still there strong and nasty as ever and my impressions were right last time through.

`The Ron Woodham Memorial Library` gave me false hopes when I saw it at first. How egotistical can you get? Pre-Posthumous Departmental-Civic-Engineering-Projects?! And obviously Fly-By-Night, with public-money doing the flying into private-pockets. Who does he think he is Sadam Husein? Someone-like, "Rotten from the bottom to the top" was exactly the phrase that came to my mind ... which I see paraphrases John Ryan`s sentiments. Who I will be contacting.

Ps still miss the sea, bush and dessert.

By Jae Placing 15 December 2002 




Well this story was started when I was approached by Carl Asimus. Carl's complaint as an X employ of the NSW Department of Corrective Services in 1984.

During the course of writing this article certain facts seemed to emerge in relation to the running of the NSW Department of Corrective Services back in 1984. After writing this article I was approached by Richard Charles Glass who also had some things to complain about during his service as a Corrective Services Officer.

Taking into account that one of the people mentioned in the article was 
Rotten Ron Woodham as he is known to most people the current NSW Commissioner of Corrective Services, I thought the story in this case was significant enough to post because of the issues raised in Mr Glass's complaint.

And you will read with shock and horror what this man has to say and how it impacted on his life forever as follows:

The trouble is you get less than what you give the likes of Woodham, he wins every time! Always a win win to you, but he gets the meat and you get the scraps made to look like meat.

Brett Collins co-ordinator Justice Action really had guts and got the job done, if I were him I would reflect. Walk out of this situation and get a shitty office with a phone and, a computer, a few fruit boxes and start from scratch, get back to basics and the real issues. Get back inside (visiting prisoners) but with that toughness which appears to have been stolen through mediation. They have you thinking you are really getting the job done. I don't think so!

The Departments have all the senior legal staff, they have the brightest minds in the country and others who are willing to get their hands dirty to get the job done. They have the law and legislation which they can do with as they will, and a budget to blow your minds!

I guess all the rookie legal eagles get warm fuzzies when they think they have had minor victories! You are cutting your teeth and helping people for free, the brightest minds in the future, but not yet. The brightest minds have moved forward each time to their real jobs working for the man!

The likes of this Government knows every keystroke on your computers. They probably have your phones tapped, engineer and structure your organisation /web page by who they let you use and who they keep away. They would encourage you with many little victories to monitor outcomes, who comes aboard and who keeps away, of course if they want you to have someone, they will engineer that as well.

I was an accident, just browsing CQU on Yahoo! and found an article which re-opened Pandora's box.

You people all think they have the right of might, righteous indignation, justice for the poor. Fighting for those who can not get into a position to defend themselves! Holy people undoing their sins of their past and righting wrongs. White Knights and Knighties! Making up for your own past errors in judgement, when none of us had much information to draw upon. We were all ignorant until we made mistakes, some of us learn, some dream on, some never learn! I would not change lives with those who did this to me! How can they live with themselves?

Dream on people, why do you think Rex Jackson, Vern Dalton, Ron Woodham and Roy Foxwell (through an idiot named Johnson, blithering dope!!) surgically removed Richard Glass from the system?

I was too straight, took no bribes, protected prisoners rights at risk of the usual shit one cops from ignorant colleagues. I hate talking about myself in the third party, but I could not be bribed, I could not be controlled, operated under the legislation, rules, and regulations and with moral fibre, which embarrassed them, integrity, which they never understood.

I also defended prisoners rights, the right to have a meal after getting back late from court, medical help night or day, have a phone call, have a visit and not add to the stress of it all. All rights afforded by the rules without jumping through hoops, but likewise nothing extra. No drugs, no brew no extras, no messages to anyone and nothing taken in or out, just entitlements that is all, with fairness and equity.

Dream on, I am amused, I will continue to read as much as I can from,
[NSW Community News], and Justice Action, but Brett Anthony Collins had more in one hard days work than anything I have read to date.

Greg you got me, straight to the heart, you got Carl and possibly Glenice, however Glenice is too clever to "bat an eyelid" over this bit of garbage.

The lady is one of the brightest minds in the country and you would not even "smudge her nail polish" with a comment!

I just do not have the time to get involved now, my opportunity was stolen by the above mentioned in 1983! I feel I fought back bravely for one person without Justice Action to help, without Brett Collins, without a union because the delegate assigned to me was, the secretary of Rex Jackson's Branch of the Labour Party.

The department had the media and only allowed me those little victories and some warm fuzzies some times. The battle went on for years, not really a battle just a fish on a hook dangling for all to see on the jetty, while the sharks swam behind the crowd. When they had finished with me I was gone, I had only been there it appears for other purposes, not my own.

No justice, no equity, no integrity. These things will only come when the people concerned move on and retire. The future if we try hard enough now, but there are many stepping up to take their place.

They use the ones they have something on from the past, and promote them, then they own them. If you get them straight up, and take action now, they will not be there to use in the future. Do not make deals, just bring them down as they appear, they won't be on your team in the future they will be on the teams of the likes of Woodham and Foxwell.

They take out people like me straight up, when they know they will never own me. The minute I refused promotion, and the money I was lucky to be alive, not that being alive really matters to me any more, or at this time anyhow.

It is not how long you live, but how you live.!

NO GUTS NO GLORY!!! Can I say all you would get from me is your entitlements and nothing more. Consider that because you know how hard they can make it. I was that reliable guy, the one when your saw me you would know no one is gong to mess up this visit, or that phone call, your mail will get through and left alone ! 
Your meal would be ok! And safe to eat if you got back from court after close of kitchen, It would not have been spat in or interfered with!

The question is do you really want someone like Mark Latham running the country? Consider what we know today and what I know about the past.

The Carr government set up Vern to watch over Ron. The Wran government had them as a team. I can only explain that as simple but the thought of one of the boys becoming Prime Minister or President of this Country is scary!

I knew Vern Dalton and Rex Jackson and I live in CQU. Glenice Hancock is Head of CQU in my town. I rang and asked after reading your article!

I have never recovered from my experiences either, and they promoted the people who were wrong, I lost my career! Can we exchange notes ? Maybe my investigation can be re-opened.

I have re-read and recollected. Walker, Lander, Jackson and Wran? That explains the line marking! Neville Wran was not guilty of any impropriety, perhaps he may have just not listened. You know, hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil! 
His position as Premier at the time however afforded great opportunity for his greedy colleagues.

My ex-wife was adopted, I re-united her with her family, Leon Punch had organised the adoption of her brother and sister to his own sister.

Leon Punch was uncle Leon ! Leon Punches brother-in-law was John Batten, Director of Air Italia Air Lines and he also wrote the Charter for the island of Naru. My brother in law married the daughter of the head of the National Party in New Zealand.

The corruption investigation was started by Ron Woodham and I was #1 on the hit parade, the end result was me fighting back for seven years to clear my name. 
I was the guy on Today Tonite, Good Morning Australia, Terry Willissee, week long expose on channel Ten with Tony Dickinson, Andrew Sore on the ABC and every newspaper in existence.

Do not wimp out on me at this point, It appears now (after you speaking out for the first time) 
I was used as a smoke screen in an attempt to cover-up the early release scheme, and the guys who toasted me and my life are now Superintendents. I was set up by Ron Woodham and Roy Foxwell (maybe the Foxwell).

I had not made any allegations, but had conducted searches of areas
where I knew corruption was going on. After a successful bust, I was treated like you and told not to search the gaol again. I refused and a notice was placed in the gate area ordering me to give 24hrs notice in advance of any search I would conduct.

There were four murders in a ten month period inside Parramatta Gaol, the officers were only interested in what they could steal and were not doing their jobs, OR THEY WERE AFFRAID TO WORK IN THAT GAOL.

There was
 an officer (my course) gunned down in his home, another officer had a heart attack after firing on an escapee. The escapee was to be number five, he was later found dead while in hiding. There were up to ten almost deaths in total before I snapped. I could go on, but it would bore you.

Ed: No it wouldn't Richard

Richard: I also had a white commodore drive up alongside me on my way home from duty, the window wound down and what looked like a shotgun was pointed at me. I was at the Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar at Kings Cross around that time!

My ex-brother in law (adopted) was a Senior Superintendent, John Baxter, he spoke with an ex-prisoner who had just been released. The occasion was a bucks party for a brother in law to be, there may have been another agenda by the Superintendent though, and that relative of mine Kenny, he worked in the hospital/clinic at Parramatta Gaol. The ex-prisoner was attending the door from the inside and was packing a firearm! That Brother-in-law later also had a Nervous Breakdown!

I was also offered $50,000 to get out and shut-up, then more than money $50,000 plus a high paying career. The trouble was I did not know anything! I had no information, I was set-up and labelled a Super Grass and they attributed allegations, which I knew nothing about, things, which occurred, before I even arrived at Parramatta Gaol! I refused the money and my life has been shit. Who has thee power to do that?

Vern Dalton was connected to Jackson, I found Vern an honest reliable and determine to fix my problems. I conducted my own investigation and went to the media, it was too late I had already been de-famed by the allegations made by Foxwell in the media. I was black banned from the gaol and literally transferred to Probation and Parole my Supervisor was John McAvoy and snr was Neil Austin (ex-priest). I had a breakdown and have never recovered. I was even down to my last dollar and had plastic second hand outdoor furniture (my only furniture) slept on the floor, and had no job a few years ago.

I had to hide my family and children (death threats) at Central coast NSW while I investigated some real corruption, my life had also been threatened and attempts had been made. It was Barbara Kemp and the media who probably saved my life, my life has been just awful, almost as if they followed every attempt I made to have a career and squashed it.

You cannot work out the connections! I know. You are wrong! But I will ring this Woman for my own benefit next week and let you know.

I was removed from Probation and Parole then later went to Centrelink and got worked over again, exactly like you in that office. Exactly what you say Glenice did to you, on both occasions. On the second occasion it was Michael Knight MP shithead extraordinaire! (Campbelltown Centrelink) and the Knights of the Southern Cross. Holy Family Ingleburn and Campbelltown.

The Holland family was well known to the Holy Family clan, and John had attended a number of secret Knights of the Southern Cross meetings in the back of churches, dressed in garb to look like scrubbers not knight's. These occurred in Ingleburn and Campbelltown, John was like a brother to me, we were mates from my first career (17y/o). He warned me a number of times! He now lives in CQ near me.

If you can help me let me know, I will also name names, but am sworn to secrecy on other issues. As you can interpret I am a serious person and real. Glenice will get a call or a visit, but you in my opinion have it all wrong. This woman and Vern Dalton were not responsible for what happened to you!

Factor that information to your scenarios, rethink the whole program. I was on my way to an honest million at age twenty- nine, but finished up penny-less at age 42years, caused by these people and what they did to my health. I will never recover but we both suffer PTSD obviously, caused by the same people at the same time!

Two Barristers (I was told they are now) Daryl Gay Law and Alan O'Connor Commercial Law were officers studying law who worked with me and supported me, find them and ask! O'Connor was working for a chain of Motels McNevins I think in Brisbane's SE Qld. Daryl was smarter he would be with a Sydney Law Firm for sure.

Corrective Services NSW 1980-1985.

What kind of treatment can cause this kind of psychological damage to a person after 22years! I re-call a Police Constable's story, Mr Philip Arrantz!! He spoke out against police corruption in the early 70's or late 60's. He was still affected when I spoke with him. He told me he was sent for two weeks compulsory examination in a mental hospital, that was a standard of the times! The message to the public was it is ok: he is just having a breakdown, gone a little mad! 

This prepared me for what was to follow, I expected to be admitted to show I suffered no mental illness. I spoke with Philip at Long Bay Gaol. It was about mid-day and it had been arranged by allegedly the PSA union and allowed by the superintendent Mr Eric Quarmby to let me know what might happen, prepare me so as to speak.

I was a young lion, but naive and gullible obviously trusted the Justice system. I defended victims whether they were in green or blue. What about if the likes of the Corrective Services 1980-1985, who were so paranoid about what they thought you know, they did the same thing in the 80's.

How about being recommended to the Northside Clinic in (Greenwich ?) North Sydney, where conveniently a Commissioner of Corrective Services runs the Clinic or has enough power, with his attending staff, including his son to apply Electricity to your brain without your permission or your families consent or knowledge.

How about no-one believing you and how your chart (with another patients) was changed and you were drugged so much you barely knew what was going, I could not breath hardly at all, until your eyes opened in the process! Then they could take away everything, which helped you defend your case, that is sharpness of mind.

Before that occasion I was confused by the corruption and its depth but could defend myself, I had a photographic memory and could speed read 2000 words per minute. I had been an executive staff member for a private international company I had been successful and was considered an entrepreneur.

My continued medication masked the damage done on my return to home. No one suspected I just had continuing re-collection of that event, nightmare and sleeplessness, now epileptic type convulsions.

It was after about 5 days I walked out and refused to return to the clinic, my psych appointed to me Macquarie Street Specialist Dr Jonathon Phillips, told my family it was essential I returned to the clinic for assessment. With that courage, determination, naivety and gullibility I returned did not believe I needed to be there, that's why I walked out !

I was given medication and could not breathe, a nurse was holding my hand and helping me full time. I was trolleyed through a lift and a corridor to a room where the deed was done. The staff were about six on duty, (all the other patients were sleeping (also medicated) and would not have realised they had the wrong person.

The name Ellard rings a bell. Ellard and a son Ellard, some one must have recollection from the honest staff if investigated even today. I have never had a proper sleep cycle since that day, I have never been the same father, husband, son or brother since that day.

Here we are 22years later, angry bitter, suffering every minute of every day and having lost all sensitivity. Financial loss to an entrepreneur like I was would have been Millions at today's standards. Even today barely functioning I can muster up a fraction of what I had and with my new wife's help make smaller things happen.

There is of course a natural healing process, but if you were say given a lobotomy, how well would you ever heal! I was not given a lobotomy but the electricity lifted me off the bed and must have caused irreparable damage. 

So how desperate was Jackson and Foxwell! How deep did the conspiracy go and how many people could be relied upon for support. How much did my life mean to them. I have never functioned the same since that visit to the clinic. 

So Carl you winging pussy, you could not even speak out? Your information could have helped my case! You still are affected ? Or is it just a malicious campaign against a person that pissed you off? How did it really affect your life and compare this to mine. Show some guts and re-open an investigation you arse wipe. Maybe you are just like them, perusing someone through their life and career, just to get a warm fuzzy. Maybe you have got it wrong.

This to me falls into the category of discovery of information! This new revelation from someone who shut their mouth for 20 years may get a new perspective on my own case. Put up or give up! 
They obviously held all the cards, I never knew what you did, and Michael Behan never discussed his information with me or you and how many more of us are there? They kept a lid on us all with the same tactics, I just needed a little more attention than you.

How about if 
the Union was involved, I thought it was Ken Keanen? Ken fought for me and I trusted him, he must have known about other information. I never want to hear that masons protect masons, and cover-up. That did not happen, there may have been officers from all persuasions involved in every aspect. I am a mason and examine my life since that event.

So let's just look at the facts we know about. Was Foxwell the bagman? And how did Woodham and Foxwell come to interview me on that first occasion? Was it legitimate or a smoke screen, I had no information pull up my record of interview from that day. This was the commencement of the undoing of everything, including the very fabric of me as a human being.

Try asking 
Namal De Silva? I was not a super grass, I did not make allegations at that time. Woodham and Foxwells record of interview lead me to the heart of the allegations. Read the interview, they told me! And as I was getting the blowtorch to the belly anyhow, I took that information and dug up the evidence, after I was defamed by The Sydney Morning Herald 06/03/83. 

The staff believed what was written and held meetings to black ban me. One person against a hundred. They were like sheep following some bad union sub branch executives never accused one innocent person, just at that point I was forced into; went on the attack ! The innocent supported the corrupt and caused the grief to themselves, not me.

How do these officers feel now? Are they proud of working over an honest righteous person to help the real crooks cover up their evil deeds, I pity the colleagues who caused me so much grief.

PS) Take a look at the CQU Website and her pledge of honour and integrity. You can forward her this e-mail if you like she would know my psychologist Bruce Accutt, he lectures at HER University.

I hope you are not full of shit because this is the first time I have spoken out in 13years. Don't light a fire you can't put out! Feel free forward this e-mail to Vern Dalton's mentor?

By Richard Charles Glass posted 5 February 04

Central Queenslands University Scam

I am going to relate a story, which will not surprise you but will inform you and others. It is for the students at Central Queensland University that I write the following as I know they have been betrayed by those who selected Glenice Hancock as the Vice Chancellor of that university.




Everyone wants to get out of 'jail' but 'Framed' wants life



Ron Woodham NSW Commissioner of Corrective Services banned Framed a quarterly magazine by Justice Action to Correctional Centres. 

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.

Framed is one of the most important for inmates of Australian Correctional Centres it is the only magazine giving prisoners a voice.

Framed reports on what's really happening and lets prisoners know that Justice Action is fighting for them. The Magazine goes to the centres in all states except the Northern Territory and they're working on that. Letter from John Klok Senior Assistant Commissioner DCC said" It has come to my attention that Justice Action has been forwarding copies of their recent issue of Framed to individual inmates" Please be advised that the Department has not given its approval to the recent issue of Framed as it contains many misleading, inaccurate and provocative articles."

A spokesperson for Justice Action said "What about the other 41 issues that were sent in to the jail? And what was printed was the truth about Rotten Ron's history of employment. These matters had been dealt with by the authorities like the Royal Commission into prisons etc.

Misleading no! Inaccurate no! Provocative? What article isn't? Therefore the fact that there was an inquiry about Ron Woodham at the time then that would be more likely to be the reason why they (DCS) rejected the issue and not the stated reasons."

Justice Action

By Or Wellian 27 November 2002

ED: What have you got to do to get into a NSW prison? Get a job with the Department? What if you don't agree?

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NSW Terrorist Minister leads the way
New South Wales is hosting a two-day conference of state and territory prisons ministers on how to detain terrorists [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East.]

MENTAL ILLNESS AMONG NEW SOUTH WALES PRISONERS
Anecdotal evidence from staff working in the New South Wales correctional system [prison system] has always suggested a high prevalence of mental illness among the prisoner population.


Review of Justice Ministers claims about conditions at HRMU
Minister for Justice John Hatzistergos stated on 15 July 2003 concerning the prisoners at the High Risk Management Unit at Goulbourn.[Prisoners held in solitary confinement and tortured endlessly in a Supermax Prison at Goulburn.]

Lithgow Prison: This is no Irish joke!
Allow me to introduce myself to you my name is John Smith I am writing to you for your help in regards to Corrective Services Jail at Lithgow, I am a prisoner at this centre and I am serving a long sentence. I originally came from Ireland a number of years ago.

The Ku Klux Klan and Patrick Horan
The State government has logged objections to Patrick Horan a NSW prisoner's planned release, convicted of the manslaughter of a police officer and seriously wounding another. Justice Minister John Hatzistergos says the NSW Parole Board intends to grant parole to Patrick Francis Horan, who committed the crimes near Bathurst in NSW's central west in 1986.

Lithgow prisoners speak out about rations
Some new issues have arisen today. A senior officer called me to the office, as they usually do to inform me of all new local orders etc concerning prisoners. The deputy governor has cut back funds for stores. Officers have been told they will issue only the following: One Toilet roll per week per prisoner One Toothbrush per month One plastic disposable spoon, fork, knife per day prisoner exchange only.

NSW PRISON CORRUPTION AT THE HRMU
The High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn [Solitary Confinement Supermax, Torture, Gulag,] alleged to have been the first Australian jail of the 21st century and the most secure in the Southern Hemisphere (it was claimed in an article SMH 14 May 2001).

The Daily Telegraph licensed to set up prisoners?
A man who smuggled a mobile phone into a Sydney jail and took pictures of stockbroker Rene Rivkin has been sentenced to 400 hours of community service.

International Prisoners Justice Day 2003
Justice Action, Prisoners Action Group and others celebrated this year's IPJD by visiting Silverwater Jail Complex and talking to the visitors as they went in and came out. We handed out copies of the media release and Framed to the visitors (who took them inside!) and showed our support for prisoners and their families, talking through the loud hailer so prisoners inside would be aware of our presence.

Weak NSW Government suspends Innocence Panel
The DNA evidence panel is under investigation and the New South Wales Innocence Panel's operations have been suspended and a review of how it works ordered.

Is Prison Obsolete?
Eileen is a senior lecturer in the School of Social Work UNSW where she teaches and researches in the areas of social policy and social development. She has been the chief researcher, and has also collaborated on projects and publications regarding prisons, the criminal justice system and women, public and social housing and indigenous matters. She has recently completed major research on ex-prisoners, accommodation and social reintegration. Eileen has been active in using research to argue for policy change in the NSW criminal justice field for some years.

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. All new prisons are virtually unbreakable. Built out of products like perspex, concrete and steel that have no flexibility and ensure that the prisoners of today take the full brunt of all Department of Corrective Services institutional failures.

Researching post-release options for Indigenous women exiting Australian prisons :HREOC The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission is researching post-release options for Indigenous women exiting Australian prisons. We are particularly interested in examining the accommodation options available to women upon their release from prison.

Parents on the inside leave children on the edge
They have been dubbed the forgotten generation - the innocent casualties of their parents' crimes. New research shows that in 2001 14,500 NSW children had a parent in jail. And 60,000 NSW children under 16 have experienced the incarceration of a parent, more than half enduring the trauma of separation before they turn five.

New video to create empathy in violent criminals?
Violent offenders in New South Wales prisons will be the audience for a new video put together by the victims of crime group, Enough is Enough, but nothing from the ex-prisoners, support groups, like Justice Action, because they don't rate?

Junee Prison, NSW Parliament and Noble Cause Corruption
I have not been charged with any offence. The first thing I knew was when they (the Intel officer) at Junee had me called to reception. I was then told that I was going to segregation for good order and discipline.

Beyond Bars: Sentencing reform
A spokesperson Dr Tim Anderson said, " The law reform commission was too gutless on this a few years back but re-introducing remissions (perhaps under another name) would be a valuable move best wishes".

The Australian Institute of Criminology has released the National Deaths in Custody Program annual report for 2002 Between January and December 2002, there was a total of 69 deaths in custody in Australia. There were 50 deaths in prison custody and 19 deaths in police custody and custody-related police operations.

Inspector General of Corrective Services Debate
Below is our response to Justice Minister Hatzistergos' comments in a debate in Parliament on July 2, 2003 regarding the impending decision about the future of the Inspector General of Corrective Services in NSW.

Hatzistergos: The Daily Telegraph's prison mates
Who convinced a prisoner on periodic detention to take a mobile phone into prison to take a photo of Rene Rivkin? The prisoner said no and contacted the Daily Terror to say no.

PRISONERS OFFER OF RECONCILIATION
Premier Bob Carr, Deputy Premier Andrew Refshauge, Senator Aden Ridgeway, and other community representatives have been invited to receive the message from the men of "The Hole.

Goulburn Solitary Confinement: Midnight Special
If you ever go to Goulburn HRMU yeah, you better walk right, you'd better not breathe and sure thing better not fight. The next thing you know the SCU gonna arrest you and Rotten Ron send you down and you can bet your bottom dollar Lord, you'll be chaingang bound.

Carr defends prison handling of political PRISONER
Bob Carr should be ashamed of himself after giving the prisons Commissioner Rotten Ron Woodham another filthy job setting up Phuong Ngo as one of the most dangerous prisoners in the State.

DCS: Protection gangs? - Ngo exploited in prison
New South Wales prison officials claim to have disbanded a gang in the Lithgow jail set up to protect convicted murderer, Phuong Ngo.


Prison rehab programs in 'disarray': Opp
The New South Wales Opposition says rehabilitation in the state's prisons is in disarray. But the states prisons could never rehabilitate in the first place. So how can it be in disarray? The space station as it is known cannot rehabilitate because it's only a dot on the community map, as it were, in relation to how people were raised.

SENTENCING RIVKIN: BRAIN SURGERY OR SUICIDE?
A proper Sentencing Council, such as the one proposed by the Carr Government, would not have sent Rene Rivkin to jail, locked up as a slave in a box.

RESPONSE TO REVIEW OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OF PRISONS
Justice Action calls for the retention of the office of Inspector General and a restructure of the legislation making it truly independent.


High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) INSPECTION
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.

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.

Intractables
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.


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.


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.


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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 remove 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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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'.


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.]

Justice Action
Justice Action is a community based organisation of criminal justice activists. We are prisoners, academics, victims of crime, ex-prisoners, lawyers and general community members. We believe that meaningful change depends upon free exchange of information and community responsibility.

Beyond Bars Alliance colleagues
I imagine all of you received Justice Action's email yesterday regarding the position of Inspector General of Corrective Services.

Community Restorative Centre
NSW spends more than half a billion tax dollars a year on prisons. It costs $60,000 to keep someone in maximum security for a year: more than double the minimum wage. CRC looks for and implements better solutions to the high social and economic costs of crime.

Sisters Inside Inc
Sisters Inside Inc. is an independent community organisation, which exists to advocate for the human rights of women in the criminal justice system, and to address gaps in the services available to them. We work alongside women in prison in determining the best way to fulfil these roles.

Smart Justice
Smart Justice does not support any party but calls for investment in prevention, alternatives to custody and initiatives that tackle the causes of crime. It is important to dispel the myths about 'law and order' and promote real solutions to crime and violence.

Shine For Kids
What happens for a young person who has a parent in prison?
There are a lot of consequences for children or young people who have a parent in prison. During Groupwork the kids themselves have identified as being:

Children of Prisoners' Support Group
Children of Prisoner's welcomes Ann Symonds as our first Patron at this years AGM and screening of "The Space in Between" video , and will have a visual display to demonstrate the invisible population of children effected by parental incarceration.

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.


A prisoner from Goulburn Jail writes to Justice Action on 13/3/02.

If you open a website with the words Prison Mind Games do they exist then; your monitor will melt down.

To stop the sadistic mind eroding games which cost many lives and bashings and the screws make millions in compo and jail scams.

The Prisoner says, "They have been at me for five years. These people preach reform and in big bold print say Corrective Services and also say Rehabilitation as their main concern along with Duty of Care."

"This is a crock of shit and everyone knows it. In third world countries in Nepal, their prisoners go home so do the Irish on special occasions and special prisoner days led by Amnesty International, Human Rights and the United Nations. Even in Mexico their wives can stay for the weekend, yet we have a service of crime.

In here the fear is that you will be set up by a screw, their squads or their employed dogs (informers)."

"I challenge you to try and come and visit me and bring the media with you" says, the prisoner.

He doesn't appear to think anyone could make it.

Prisoners are hanging themselves because screws are coercing others to intimidate. Three cases I know personally, Thomas Cambell Parsons 23, in Care Unit, 1997. Jason O'Donell 29, Min# 220781, 2000. Andrew Collis Min# 303371. All hung themselves as well as other witnesses to their comments. I know one investigation was 100 percent full of lies from the screws to the cops to cover it up.

We now recognise noise as an abuse, or even torture like barking dogs, slamming doors etc. These sadistic games are killing prisoners and frustrating them to rage to hit a screw so that person can receive a large sum of money in victim's compensation.

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'.

By Gregory Kable 16 April 200



HRMU at Goulburn, inmates can be kept in inhumane conditions for an indefinite period. Last year, the NSW Coroner was also highly critical that mentally-ill people are placed in isolation in the supermax prison,” Mr Murphy said. (Get Image)

Last night in Geneva, the United Nations Committee against Torture called for a review of Australia's supermax prisons, the abolition of mandatory immigration detention and for a referendum on a federal Bill of Rights. The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (CCL) endorses all of these calls. 

In its report on Australia, the Torture Committee was critical of Australia's prisons, counter-terrorism laws, mandatory immigration detention and of the way Australian officials have ignored torture and mistreatment overseas in places like Abu Ghraib.

The Torture Committee expressed concern about conditions in Australian prisons, especially the so-called supermaximum prisons like the notorious HRMU 'Supermax' at Goulburn gaol.

“The UN is right to be concerned about the state of Australia's prisons. You are 11-times more likely to be in prison if you are indigenous. The incarceration of the mentally-ill continues to increase. Juveniles and adults are not necessarily being kept apart in NSW prisons. Our remand facilities are overcrowded,” Mr Murphy said. 

“CCL joins the Torture Committee in calling for a complete review of the regime imposed on detainees in supermax prisons. In the HRMU at Goulburn, inmates can be kept in inhumane conditions for an indefinite period. Last year, the NSW Coroner was also highly critical that mentally-ill people are placed in isolation in the supermax prison,” Mr Murphy said.

"The Torture Committee wants an update in 12 months on the conclusions of the review into the supermax prisons. CCL calls on the NSW and Victorian governments to cooperate with the federal government when it conducts an open and independent inquiry into conditions in Australia's Supermax prisons at Goulburn and Barwon," Mr Murphy said.

"If there's nothing wrong with these prisons, then the States have nothing to fear from any federal inquiry," Mr Murphy said.

The Torture Committee also called for the abolition of mandatory immigration detention. 

"CCL supports the call for the abolition of mandatory immigration detention. It is okay to hold people for a short time to determine their identity and health status, however it is completely unacceptable to lock people up for extended periods of time when they have committed no crime", Mr Murphy said.

"Australia should implement the recommendations of the Torture Committee and end the inhumane policy of mandatory immigration detention," Mr Murphy said.

The Committee against Torture expressed concern about Australia's counter-terrorism laws. The Committee was also concerned that Australians knew about what was happening in Abu Ghraib, but did not act to stop the mistreatment. In a thinly disguised reference to the cases of Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks, the Committee expressed concern that Australia has failed to investigate claims of torture.

"Australia needs to overhaul all the draconian terrorism legislation introduced since September 2001," Mr Murphy said. 

"Australia also needs to investigate the very serious claims of torture made by Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks," Mr Murphy said. 

"It is unacceptable that Australia keeps asking the torturers to investigate complaints of torture. That's like asking the wolves to investigate why the sheep went missing," Mr Murphy said. 

"Australia should not have asked the US or Egypt to investigate whether they had tortured Mr Habib. Only a full Royal Commission can get to the bottom of all this," Mr Murphy said.

"The Australian government should be compensating victims of torture. Not fighting them every step in the courts. The Australian government should read the UN Torture Committee's report very carefully," Mr Murphy said.

The Torture Committee also called on the federal government to adopt a constitutional Bill of Rights protecting human rights in Australia.

"CCL has long advocated for a constitutional Bill of Rights to protect the most vulnerable in our society. This is the upteenth time the UN has called for Australia to enshrine a Bill of Rights", Mr Murphy said.

"We welcome federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland's announcement that he will consult on how best to protect rights in Australia. We hope that the Rudd government will be true to its promise to listen to the UN and will hold a referendum to enshrine a Bill of Rights in Australia. Australians deserve that opportunity to vote for a Bill of Rights to protect us all," Mr Murphy said.

The Torture Committee welcomed Australia's announcement that it will ratify the Optional Protocol to the Torture Convention. The Optional Protocol will allow the UN and independent Australian bodies to do spot checks of places of detention like prisons and immigration detention centres.

“CCL welcomes the Rudd government's announcement that it will ratify the Optional Protocol to the Torture Convention. Federal parliament needs to move quickly to adopt the Optional Protocol into Australian law and implement the Torture Committee's recommendations”, Mr Murphy said.

For more information contact: Cameron Murphy, NSWCCL President, 0411-769-769

Posted Sunday 18 May 2008


Abuse within prisons makes prisoners more violent upon release


                         Inside Grafton Prison NSW

Reports of brutality and the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib caused the US government to go into denial until confronted with irrefutable evidence such as photos and digital images of the abuse revealed by the US media.

The government's damage control phase of the scandal sought to circumvent further political embarrassment by quickly apportioning blame to seven US army reservists; Private Lynndie England, Specialist Charles Graner, Specialist Jeremy Sivits, Sergeant Javal Davis, Sergeant Ivan Frederick, Specialist Sabrina Harman and Specialist Megan Ambuhl.

With the exception of Sivits, who pleaded guilty and received a one-year prison sentence on the proviso that he testify against the others, the remaining six accused have all claimed they were following orders from senior intelligence officers and private CIA contractors. Those claims indicate that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were not the isolated actions of individuals but rather a deliberate policy of US intelligence officials to soften up detainees and make them more cooperative during questioning.

The Australian public was confronted with similar accusations during 1978 when the NSW Royal Commission into Prisons headed by Justice Nagle found that the NSW Department of Corrective Services and its Ministers of both political persuasions had unofficially sanctioned the systematic brutalisation of prisoners at Grafton Jail from 1943 to 1976. A former Grafton prison guard, John Pettit, testified to the extent of that brutalisation:

There was a reception committee procedure for all intractable prisoners received at the jail. The committee comprised of select officers who would wait in a Wing to receive the prisoner. I was mainly on patrol duty and was not chosen for the job. The usual procedure was that the prisoner was first stripped and searched. He was then assaulted by the reception officers.

Sometimes three, four or five of them would assault the prisoner with their batons to a condition of semi-consciousness. On occasions the prisoner urinates and his nervous system ceases to function normally. After the flogging he was assigned a cell to recuperate. When he has recuperated he was then marched back to A Wing and there, depending on what he was sent to Grafton for, he is placed in the Special Yards or taken back to his cell and beaten again. This reception procedure for intractables was standard in the three years I was at Grafton Jail. I had frequently seen "tracs" in the showers after their reception and I frequently observed multiple bruises from neck to knee and also numerous welts and abrasions. I also observed the occasional black eye.

During the time I was at Grafton the doctor (I think Prentiss) would not examine these prisoners until the bruises had healed. Sometimes it was about a week or so after the man had been received into the jail before he saw the doctor. (Evidence given by ex-Grafton prison guard, John Pettit, to the NSW Royal Commission into Prisons. Transcript page 3147).

I was transferred to Grafton as an intractable prisoner on four separate occasions during the period 1971-75 for escaping from prison and assaulting prison guards. Apart from the systematic brutality I personally experienced as an intractable prisoner at Grafton (outlined in my evidence to The NSW Royal Commission into Prisons on March 1978) I also chronicled my observations of the Grafton rehabilitation process and how it impacted upon society outside the walls.

The first significant result of Grafton's rehabilitation processes was the death of 15 people inside Brisbane's Whiskey-Au-Go-Go nightclub in March 1973. The men accused and later convicted for that crime were James Richard Finch and John Andrew Stuart. Both were Grafton alumni.

My next observation was how young non-violent offenders turn into crazed killers upon their release from prison after the Grafton experience.

Men like Kevin Crump who teamed up with Alan Baker to commit what a trial judge termed the worst murder in the annals of Australian criminal history. Both men were convicted of the 1973 murder of Virginia Morse, a pregnant grazier's wife who was raped and butchered in northern NSW.

Archie McCafferty became Australia's answer to Charlie Manson after he had experienced Grafton and returned to the world outside its walls. During 1973 McCafferty led a drug-crazed gang on an indiscriminate killing spree that resulted in the deaths of three people. McCafferty was sentenced to three consecutive terms of life imprisonment and served 23 years before he was deported to Scotland in May 1997.

Then there was the young non-violent Russian immigrant, Peter Schneidas, who was so affected by the Grafton experience that he did not wait until he was released from prison before killing. In 1978 Schneidas killed prison guard John Mewburn by pulverising his head with a hammer at Long Bay Jail. Schneidas spent the next 20 years in solitary and isolation inside some of NSW worst prisons until they released him in 1997 and he died from a heroin overdose eight months later, having becoming addicted in prison.

As the years melted into each other my initial observations during the 1970s began to take on significant proportions that indicated an alarming trend --men who had been brutalised by the prison system extracted a shocking revenge on society once they were released. It was a trend that the NSW Department of Corrective Services has never bothered to statistically report. Maybe it would reinforce previous assumptions that physical or psychological brutalisation during the incarceration process was counterproductive beyond comprehension.

Instead of men leaving prison with some degree of rehabilitation they became pressure-cookers of rage and revenge ready to explode on an unsuspecting public once the prison gates opened. It is a trend I have observed over the past 30 years and is not confined to NSW.

The 1971 Jenkinson Inquiry in Victoria revealed how prisoners were brutalised inside H Division at Pentridge and the 1988 Kennedy Report revealed similar abuses inside the Queensland prison system. The Australian public remains blissfully unaware of how its prison systems are a catalyst that contribute to some of the worst violent crimes ever perpetrated in this country.

The most chilling aspect of my 30-year observation of prison's catalytic contribution to violent crime is that the trend is extending to the next generation. That observation comes from a young man who is presently incarcerated inside the Queensland prison system but due to the QDCS practice of applying a tourniquet to any information flow from its prisons under threat of legal or arbitrary sanction the prisoner must remain anonymous. Here is what he has to say:

I often wonder what made me such a violent young man by the age of 26. In the real world I over react and have violent thoughts to situations that normal people negotiate in everyday life. I remember being in a fight at school once but apart from that incident I hardly remember having a violent thought in my life - that is prior til I hit the Queensland juvie institutions and kiddies jail.

The day we turned 18 at Sir David Longland CC we were placed into mainstream with some pretty serious, sex-starved, violent-looking dudes. It was sink or swim time. If you knew someone in mainstream and you were lucky enough to be housed in the same unit you had a chance but you had to expect the worst. I knew a lot of kids that got raped as soon as they hit mainstream. The idea was to be accepted as one of "the boys" and blend in or your ass was grass.

One kid, Morris Fisher, hanged himself in his cell. The anticipation of the unknown was too much for him. Another two kids had a fight in our yard. One ended up going on protection. He was placed in K Block with adult protection inmates. Days later he was taken to hospital after being raped and bashed so severely he had to have a facial reconstruction. He was only 17 in the mainstream at SDL CC.

It was around tea-time when we were transferred into B Block. Twelve sets of eyes stared at us. A young guy I had seen before in the boy's yard came up and asked me if I wanted something to eat. I said, "No, I'm not hungry" but I was starving. "I'm Brendan, Brendan Berichon. You'll be okay come and watch a bit of telly." I was so glad he remembered me from the boy's yard. I knew another guy in the unit from the boy's yard, Wade Watter, and I felt a little better knowing some familiar faces. About six of the 13 guys in the unit were lifers and all the other adult prisoners were doing long sentences.

I had to learn how to walk the walk and talk the talk or I was going down. I kept to myself and just watched what other prisoners were like and I mimicked them. If someone had an argument with a screw you had to back him up all the way this is how one got accepted and it was also how one survives.

I looked up to the long-timers and modelled myself around them - a survival tactic that works. I started getting into trouble with everyone else. You end up sympathising with the cause and become a product of your own environment. A prison culture derived from despair, thriving on hatred, loneliness and constantly nourished by corrupted administration.

I served five years of my six-and-a-half-year sentence, most of it in B Block and Woodford. I was released but within four weeks I was arrested for unlawful wounding and was sentenced to another five years imprisonment. The following people were products of the boy's yard at SDL CC that also returned to prison for violent crimes. 

They are ones that I personally know but there are many many more:

* Tommy got out and committed suicide.
* Brendan Berichon got out and was accused of freeing Brenden Abbott and four other prisoners. He was convicted of shooting two police officers in Melbourne and was returned to prison.
* Wade Watter got out and returned for murder.
* Chris Richards got out and returned for armed robberies.
* Sean O'Loughlin got out and returned for armed robberies.
* Shawn Burdon got out and returned for armed robberies.
* Ryan Higginbotham got out and returned for armed robberies.
* Vance Summers got out and returned for grievous bodily harm.
* Andrew Fraser got out and returned for armed robberies.


Ninety per cent of the kids that went through the boy's yard at SDL CC have returned for some type of violent crime. (The observations of Christopher from inside a Queensland prison in 2004).

By Bernie Matthews posted 25 June 04

Bernie Matthews is a convicted bank robber and prison escapee who has served time for armed robbery and prison escapes in NSW (1969-1980) and Queensland (1996-2000). During the periods of incarceration he studied journalism and received scholarships to study as an external student at the University of Southern Queensland. His insider's account of Brenden Abbott's escape from Sir David Longlands Correctional Centre, "The Day Cassidy won the Cup" is published in Justice in the Deep North: A Historical Perspective of Crime and Punishment in Queensland.

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A TOTAL ABUSE OF POWER
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.

Rumsfeld had approved abuse
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorised hoods, the stripping of prisoners and the use of dogs to terrify inmates at Guantanamo Bay almost two years ago, documents released yesterday revealed.



A prisoner's 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).

Brother: When you first arrive at Goulburn Super Max Jail you are taken to wing 7. That is after you are stripped searched and given new cloths, underwear and shoes, which don't fit properly.

Next you are taken to wing 7, you are given new sheets and blankets and nothing else. After spending your first night in segregation (wing 7) the Deputy Governor comes to see you and asks you why you are in Jail.

When you try and explain the reason for you to be there he doesn't listen, he just says he will see you again next week.

The following week he again comes to see me and I asked him why I have been transferred to Super Max. He gives me the Act 27, which basically is an excuse for them to have anyone that they want in Super Max without an excuse.

Sister: (We still don't have a reason why he was moved, but I believe it was because of complaints made about the Intel Officer of Lithgow to the Commissioner Mr Ron Woodham. 

The Intel Officer took a dislike to my brother and he made it very difficult for him. My brother's room was raided frequently and was moved from pod to pod and 
often put in dangerous situations.

Brother: After spending a couple of months in segregation [solitary confinement ?] you are given a classification which starts at 0 then the next step is 1:1. This gets you into one of the wings either wing 8 or wing 9 that entitles you to a radio and a jug of hot water, also you have access to a small bar fridge which is kept in the day room in front of your cell.

You are suppose to be reclassified every 4 to 6 weeks but this doesn't happen very often. The classification consists of you seeing welfare 2 or 3 times and answering a lot of personal questions. 

Then you have to see a psychologist and fill in a couple of questions, which are also very personal. If you don't answer these questions you do not move up the classification ladder, therefore you don't get your radio, jug, TV etc.

0-Nothing but 2 phone calls a week and $20.00 buy up.

1:1- 2 personal phone calls, $25 buy up, jug, radio, access to library sometimes and access to a fridge.

1:2- 2 personal phone calls, $30 buy up, jug, radio, access to the library and computer room, fridge and microwave access. You can put down for association! That means you can be in the library or the sports yard with someone that they have approved you to be with. Never more than 2, that is you and someone else.

1:3 All the above except the buy up goes up by $5.00 ever time also you get a TV this could take up to 6 months. After 1:3 things start to slow down and they don't care too much about moving you up the ladder as I have explained. It starts at 0 and goes up to 3:3, if you do reach 3:31 I don't know what happens because no one has reached that stage.

Visits: You get one visit a week for one hour. The visitor has to complete a very strict security check, which can take up to 2 months for approval.Some prisoners have waited 6 months for approval to be granted.

Cells: The cells are 6ft by 14ft with one concrete bed and one concrete bench and one concrete TV bench for a (future TV). There is a shower, stainless steel sink and toilet with no lid on it. Ventilation comes from some sort of air conditioning system. One vent pushes air in and the other vent sucks it out. Occasionally the power goes off and the only ventilation you get is from gaps under the back door, which leads to the yard. It is not too bad for a while but if it stays off for too long the air starts to get a little stale, especially if you are a smoker you can imagine how it is.

Lock In: Lock inn's are at least 3 times a week (24 hour) this is since I've been here. It has been confirmed by other prisoners this is normal. The only day you can be sure that you will get out is Saturday and Sunday.During lock in you can't make any legal phone calls.

In fact you can't get anything done. This means your laundry days are say Monday and Friday and you're locked in. You can't get your laundry done until you are let out on one of those days. Sometimes it can take up to three weeks before you get your laundry done and we are not given enough cloths and run out of things that are clean to wear. 2 track pants, 2 jumpers, 4 t-shirts and 2 towels.

Food: The food is standard as any other correctional facility.

Breakfast; 3 x coffee, 7 x sweetener, 1 x 40gms of cereal and I jam spread with 300ml milk.

Lunch; 2 sandwiches, 1 piece of fruit and seven slices of bread.

Dinner; 1 frozen meal reheated and served. In the last two months I have been here my dinner has never been hot just a little warm. Dinner is served at 2:30 PM every day. Lock in is usually at 2:45 or 3:00pm. If you don't have access to a microwave then you have to eat it as you get it. You can't buy your own food. So you are forced to eat their food. This food does not take into consideration all the different nationalities. The only way to communicate with other prisoners are calling to each other from our cells as no contact with other prisoners are allowed.

Sister: Finally after talking to prisoners who I know from before from other prisons. These people have become very paranoid and irrational. They were never like that before and I believe that this place has done this to them.

Furthermore, During my visit with my brother I questioned him about other prisoner's appearance and 
was told because of not being able to purchase proper razor blades the prisoners don't shave.

In one of my brother's previous letters, he went to write that no matter how much he tried to work hard in rehabilitation it just does not help. It takes one officer to take a dislike of you and you are gone. Sent to Super Max as punishment for the way you look and to break your spirit. If you are not strong enough to survive your term you will come out worse than when you went in.

By Just Us 16 September 03 

Related:

Review of Justice Ministers claims about conditions at HRMU
Minister for Justice John Hatzistergos stated on 15 July 2003 concerning the prisoners at the High Risk Management Unit at Goulbourn.[Prisoners held in solitary confinement and tortured endlessly in a Supermax Prison at Goulburn.]

Lithgow Prison: This is no Irish joke!
Allow me to introduce myself to you my name is John Smith I am writing to you for your help in regards to Corrective Services Jail at Lithgow, I am a prisoner at this centre and I am serving a long sentence. I originally came from Ireland a number of years ago.




The Australian Institute of Criminology's Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia - 1996 just don't cover the Goulburn HRMU according to Mr Ron Woodham Commissioner of Corrective Services. The High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) is the centrepiece of a major $22M redevelopment of Goulburn Correctional Centre.

You can't see a doctor for six months is one of the complaints.

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.

They are fairly confident in their own assessment as they know every attempt I had previously made to Matthews and other relevant authorities about the matter were dismissed and that is that. In the meantime I still quite often have great moments of anxiety and feel no air and choke-up and get quite bewildered in my attempts to overcome the problem.

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 guidelines I read of are not included in 'Carr's Castle' design, and in reality this place is poorly designed and difficult for everyone, prisoners and management.

Management bought it up themselves as each new rule generally cuts across an old rule. I am not concerned about the purpose of the place, but I am about the panic attacks I get in here because it is a straight out box. As I have other issues going on as well I feel some people will confuse those issues and my actions. 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 out-side 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."

The wife of a prisoner who is now on a hunger strike writes to Justice Action, "I would like to state that I believe that the degree of punishment "D" has received is very severe. Whilst being housed in the H.M.R.U. "D" has been threatened bashed and told by an officer "how would you like to be found hanging in your cell." "D" has made a statements regarding these incidents but has never been informed of any action taken regarding these events."

"I myself have tried five times to speak to the governor at Goulburn in relation to these events and have been unable to speak to him and I am still waiting for him to return my calls. "D" went into custody as a young offender and whilst in the departments custody has never been treated in such a manner despite the sentencing judges recommendations for the department to do so. I fear for "D" health and safety whilst housed at H.M.R.U. as "D" has expressed his concerns to me."

THE PRISONER: Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australian were. That is, before 'Carr's Castle' (were) as follows:

SECTION 1 - Guiding Principles
1.2 Correctional programs are by the deprivation of liberty to varying degrees, a punishment in themselves. Therefore correctional programs must not, except as incidental to the maintenance of discipline or justifiable segregation, aggravate the suffering inherent in such a situation.

Inspection and Community Involvement
3.1 Each Administering Department must establish a set of clear guidelines for the operation of prisons and community corrections centres, and the management of prisoners and offenders. An inspectorial or review system must be established by each Administering Department to ensure these guidelines are administered in each prison and community correction centre.

Requests and Complaints
3.21 Every offender and prisoner must have the opportunity of making requests or complaints to the designated authorities, including Official Visitors and members of any Aboriginal Visitors Scheme or similar body.
3.22 Every offender and prisoner must have the right to make complaints under confidential cover to persons authorised either under legislation or by the Administering Department.
3.23 All officers must promptly reply to and deal with every request or complaint addressed or referred to them.

Use of Force
5.40 A prison officer may, where necessary, use reasonable force to compel a prisoner to obey a lawful order given by the prison officer. Where such force is used the prison officer must report the fact to the Manager of the prison.

Health Services
5.66 For every prison, the services of at least one qualified medical officer must be available twenty-four hours a day. This service may be on an on-call or standby basis. Medical services should be organised in close relationship with the general health administration in the community and must include access to a psychiatric service for the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorder.

Accommodation
5.23 In new prisons, accommodation should generally be provided in single cells or rooms. Provision may be made however, for multiple cell accommodation for the management of particular prisoners.
5.24 Existing dormitories should only be occupied by prisoners who are suited to them.
5.25 All accommodation provided for the use of prisoners should meet all requirements of health. Due regard must be paid to climatic conditions and particularly to cubic content of air, floor space, lighting, heating and ventilation.
5.26 In all places where prisoners are required to live or work:
* the windows should be large enough to enable the prisoners to read or work by natural light, and should be constructed in such a way that they allow entrance of fresh air except where there is artificial ventilation;
* artificial light should be provided to enable prisoners to read or work without injury to eyesight.
5.27 Toilet and sanitary facilities must be provided for prisoners to use as required, and these must be kept in a clean condition.
5.28 Adequate bathing and shower installations must be provided to enable every prisoner to maintain general hygiene by bathing or showering at a temperature suitable for the climate.
5.29 All parts of a prison should be properly maintained and kept clean at all times.

By Guantanamo Bay 1 May 03



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.

Numerous Complaints about ACM have been made by Justice Action to the Ombudsman and the Government in relation to Junee Correctional Centre in 2003.

On February 28, 2003, Staff at the Jail returned to sender prisoners personal mail during a JA letter out sent to the prisoners. JA sent letters to the prisoners because of a breach of a federal law that allows prisoners to receive information. Because of the banning of Framed Magazine by the prisons Commissioner Mr Ron Woodham federal prisoners as well as state prisoners were and have been denied information relevant to their situation as prisoners.

Subsequently the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission is making an inquiry about the ban. When Justice Action's staff contacted Junee prison on 26 February 03 at 10:25 AM to find out where the prisoners were being housed, they were at the Jail. So why was the prisoners personal mail sent back to JA?

I asked the person for identification to verify the call I had made and she told me she doesn't have to give me her name or her number.

I quickly informed her she was a public servant and had to give me some form of ID and she told me,

"I am not a public servant. I work for a private corporation."

I asked then to talk to her superior and she hung up the phone.

I contacted (Liz)? From the Ombudsman's office and she stated, "I am not sure if the person who answered the phone at Junee Jail has to identify herself?"

Medical complaints have also been received at Justice Action on12 March 03, medication had been withheld from a prisoner. The prisoner suffered from epilepsy and he needed to know what reason the doctor had for not giving him his medication.

The prisoner concerns were that he was waking up on the floor and banging his head and it had taken six prison guards to hold him down while he was having a fit.

On the Four Corners program, former staff from the now-closed Woomera Detention Centre claim Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) cut staff and fudged the figures reported to the government, to pocket the money paid for extra staff.

ACM is also accused of destroying written evidence of medical malpractice and the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old Iranian boy by other detainees at Woomera.

The Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, says he is taking the allegations seriously.

"I've asked already my department tonight to undertake a full review of the transcript of the program to see whether it contains any evidence that is new to us in relation to possible breaches of contract," he said.

ACM is accused of dangerously low staffing levels at Woomera the company that ran the now-closed Woomera Detention Centre has been accused of deliberate under staffing and fudging staff numbers in reports to the Federal Government, to increase its earnings.

A former operations manager at Woomera has told the ABC's Four Corners that Australian Correctional Management (ACM) was paid according to the number of detainees at the centre.

Allan Clifton also says he had advance warning of the mass breakout in June 2000 but ACM management ignored the warning and when the breakout happened, staff levels were too low to deal with the situation.

"In the times I was there we hardly ever had the required number of staff, that I might add ACM were getting paid for by DIMA [Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs]," he said.

"They would send in reports saying we had the required number of staff when in fact we didn't have the required number of staff.

"And quite often we were told at a local level to fudge the figures."

In a written response late today, Australian Correctional Management refused to comment on the allegation, claiming it cannot talk about staffing levels for security reasons.

By Gregory Kable 20 May 03

Justice Action

NSW prisons over-crowded. Gov't orders investigation into death in custody



Two public servants may be sacked over a bungle affecting an Aboriginal inmate who died in custody in a New South Wales jail.


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.

The State Government ordered an investigation into how the parole board had miscalculated the inmate's release date.

A report tabled in Parliament blames the error on an inexperienced officer whose work should have been checked.

It describes the parole board as complacent and says its error rates are unacceptable. Justice Minister John Hatzistergos concedes the report is damning and has pledged a major shake-up.

"It's frankly unacceptable. To be frankly blunt about it, I regard it as a disgrace," he said.

A separate report will recommend whether two staff who have been stood aside over the incident, should be sacked. 

By Death In Custody 7 May 03

THE PRISONERS: Prison over-crowding due to the Carr Governments policies have caused the Department of Corrective Services to cut corners in all areas. Watchdogs have been silenced and custodial staff told what to say and not what to say and that's why answers are not forthcoming from DCS about complaints forwarded to them from prisoners who are suffering.

The independence of welfare has diminished and that means the messenger is too late in order to save any life that nears death. There is mounting trauma and frustration of today's prisoners who are trying to survive in barbaric conditions.

Resources and facilities including health, programs, education and even exercise for prisoners out of their cells has been limited and spread so wide that conditions in the jail are causing neglect, self-harm and death.


Dear Mr Kable,

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.

I have written to the governor and minister of Corrective Services over 4 weeks and no reply to date. I was informed my son might be there indefinitely as the 
order was signed by the minister.

He has been in segregation for the past 15 months he has been in gaol. Scott is a full 'remand prisoner' and shouldn't be in the Super Max section.

They said it was to give him a break from 'segregation' 
[solitary confinement] but he has no contact and doesn't see anyone. 

No medical services are made available to him because he refuses to talk to the prison psychiatrist on instructions from his previous solicitor at the time.


They say he cant associate because he is not stable enough but he had to be stable enough to do his own committal and they gave him a typed list of questions he was only allowed to ask the witnesses. That in my opinion is a miscarriage of justice in my book. 
He has numerous complaints and I am giving you permission to investigate his allegations.

I am most appreciated what you are doing for Scott and my prayers are with you for being in his corner. I am looking forward to any correspondence from you that can send me to allay my fears for his safety.

Letter from prisoner Scott Simpson to his mother.

Dear mum,

I hop this letter finds you healthy and well. As you know I am at the H.R.MU. Supermax. High Risk Management Unit. I am a full remand prisoner and people who are doing life sentences have more privileges than me. I can't get a solicitor to do my case, as Legal Aid will not fund my solicitor to do my case as Legal Aid will not fund my solicitor to drive to Goulburn.

They won't put me in Silverwater M.R.R.C. so I can have contact with solicitors. They put me in here for no reason at all. I was in segregation doing okay no bad reports or nothing. As soon as I buy my TV, radio, rice-cooker etc-they bring me down here.

I have nothing, talk about miscarriage of justice, they are black mailing me. They say if I talk to the psych here then I can get a TV in 3 months.

I told them I cannot talk to anyone as I've been instructed through legal advice not to talk to jail psyche's only out-side psyche's. 
So basically there saying I have something wrong with me and if that's the case well this is how they treat someone who they say is sick and full remand prisoner.

Take all this property and give him nothing not even fresh air as it's only pumped into our cells. Dry cell with camera and everything. Only difference I have a shower in my cell, which only comes on 4 times a day. 
It's not helping my head at all mum. 'I feel sick all the time headaches as no fresh air'. I feel like I'm in a prison truck with a bed. One phone call a week. I'm 'starving, freezing', don't see me any more so they can help me with my case just full on 'torture' never stops.

Well enough about this for now. 
God I wish you would do something mum at least ring people about the treatment I'm getting and being full remand prisoner.

Their slowly torturing me to death, It's the most painful, evil thing that could happen to anyone. Anyway I'm going to go mum as I am not feeling to good and you know why. I can't think properly and it's hurting writing this letter. By for now love always from your son.

Ps Can you ring this bloke Greg Kable "Justice Action" group pH 9660 9111 tell him my situation put in Supermax no nothing. Full remand prisoner and no adverse reports to put me in here. No legal council. Legal Aid won't fund my solicitor to drive to see me and they won't put me in a Sydney jail. Facing murder charge had to do committal my self and tortured 24 hours a day. Ring Green Peace MP he knows what's happening. Tell him what is going on. Also the Ombudsman sent 4 letters no reply. Inspector general local MP you know who to ring mum please mum do something. "TORTURED"

Posted by Gregory Kable 8 May 03

ED: After reading these letters I must say that the Department of Corrective Services is giving this lad the Gulag Treatment in the hope that he will see a corrupt Psychiatrist to cover up the mismanagement of the Department's duty of care. Happy Mothers Day Mrs Simpson.

History:

Scott Simpson had an altercation with another person who alleged that Scott hit his car with a baseball bat and damaged the frame of the car's window just missing the person sitting in the car. That person then went to the police unharmed and had Scott charged and subsequently Scott was sent to Silverwater remand prison where he was alleged to have murdered his cell mate during the night. And now he resides at the HRMU Goulburn Correctional Centre or Super-max otherwise known as Carr's Castle.

REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIVE SERVICES PSYCHIATRIST

Mr Simpson is charged with intimidate a police officer in execution of duty, contrary to Section 60(1); use intimidation/violence to unlawfully influence person contrary to Section 545b(1)(1); breach of undertaking, and assault contrary to Section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900. I am also aware that Mr Simpson has another more serious charge but at the time of writing this report, the writer has no further details about this offence.

Edited Conclusion:

Mr. Simpson is suffering from a mental illness as defined in the New South Wales Mental Health Act and requires treatment in a psychiatric hospital. He suffers from a psychotic disorder, which involves systematised paranoid delusions. He also has auditory hallucinations. Although he is receiving anti-psychotic medication, he remained psychotic at the time of the interview. He was clearly distressed and paranoid in his interactions with others. He has been in custody for almost four months.

Scott. Maintains that he was forced into a cell with a (paedophile, sex offender) Mr L who was placed in strict security away from the main prison at Junee. The Sex offender's brother Mr L. also a sex offender at Junee wrote to me expressing his concern that he was next and feared being sent into that scene for any sort of rehabilitation.

Please note it appears that the Department of Corrective Services failed to identify that Scott [?] had a mental illness and Scott was then 'forced' into a situation that he may have felt threatened in. In any event Mr L died and Mr Simpson most likely, according to the report, suffered from a mental illness. Questions about duty of care by DCS arise from this situation that need your urgent attention.




Scott Simpson 34 died in custody on 7 June 2004 leaving behind a child. It is alleged that he hanged himself in a segregation yard at Long Bay Prison Complex.

Justice Action has reasons to believe that Scott had been mistreated from the time he was taken into custody and the subsequent events that ensued that led to his sad death. We think that his treatment may well have caused his death.

Scott was charged with assault and malicious damage in March 2002. He was refused bail and conveyed to Silverwater Prison Complex.

A witness to the incident Mr Jeffrey Warren White told police in a record of interview that on Friday 29 March 2002 he was at his friend Julie's house.

"We had been fishing at Brooklyn the night before with friends and had returned to her house about 6pm. I fell asleep on the lounge when we got home and slept until about 11.am. When I got up I made myself a hot drink of Bonox and sat at the table.While I was sitting at the table Scott Simpson came out and made himself a cup of coffee and sat with me.I know Scott as he has been a border at Julie's house for about 5 or 6 weeks. We get along quite well and we were just having a chat."

Mr White told police that he and his wife and his friend Shane packed the car to go fishing at Balmain. When everything was packed into the car something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye that is when he saw Scott coming running towards the car.

"I then saw that he had a baseball bat in his hand and he swung the baseball bat toward my head."

He ducked down and moved to the left of the steering wheel and heard the bat hit the doorframe and it then followed through into the car. He then brought the baseball bat back up to have another swing at me an I was able to drive off before he did.

A report written by a DCS departmental psychiatrist under the heading mental status said it is apparent that for the past 13 Months or more Mr Simpson has been suffering from an acute psychotic major psychiatric illness and it was the writers opinion the report said,

"Mr Simpson was suffering from a mental illness during his period of incarceration in late March/April 2002. Mr Simpson was psychiatrically assessed at Nepean Hospital on 16 October 2001 and allegedly involuntarily detained at that institution. He was subsequently transferred to Bungabaree House at Blacktown Hospital where he was admitted to the psychiatric unit. Mr Simpson reported that he was subsequently transferred to Cumberland Hospital where again he was detained in this psychiatric institution. At this institution he reports that the psychiatrist told him that he was suffering from a psychotic illness."

"Mr Simpson was subsequently seen at Silverwater Prison Complex by Dr Kiping Walker a psychiatrist. Dr Walker diagnosed Mr Simpson as suffering from a psychotic illness. He was treated with Zyprexa (Olanzapine), an antipsychotic medication."

On the day Scott Simpson was transported to Silverwater he was placed into a cell with two other prisoners. One of those prisoners had been sent from strict protection at Junee Jail. Scott said in a letter to Justice Action that he had pleaded with prison authorities not to lock him up with this person believing that he was a child sex offender. To no avail from the prison guards.

The next morning when they opened the cell the strict protection prisoner was dead.

Subsequently Scott was charged with his murder and sent to the High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn Correctional Centre (HRMU).

Scott contacted Justice Action often he said amongst other things that he was freezing and starving and that is when we started to acknowledge how he was being treated at HRMU.

Since October 2003 after many complaints from the prisoners at HRMU we sent forms to all the prisoners we had received complaints from to get their permission to act on their behalf. We have to do that because of the Privacy Act restricting us from obtaining information on behalf of prisoners without their consent as follows:

Mr Scott Simpson
Goulburn HRMU
PO Box 264
Goulburn NSW, 2580

Re Your authority!

Hi Scott,


We are mounting a defence in relation to the conditions at the HRMU on your behalf.

We need your authority to do so. Would you sign below and get it off to us ASAP.

Thanks
Justice Action
For Coordinator
20 November 2003
_______________________________________________________
Authority:


I, Scott Simpson give Justice Action of 65 Bellevue Street Glebe in the State of New South Wales my authority to represent me for the purpose of pursuing any available remedy for the poor conditions, services and treatment I receive in the custody of the Department of Corrective Services at the High Risk Management Unit Goulburn Correctional Centre. This includes my authority to obtain copies of all records, documents and information relating to me held by Corrective Services and the Corrections Health Service.

Signature _____________________
Scott Simpson

Dated _____________________


The governor at the HRMU received the authority and terminated it without giving it to Scott and all the other prisoners we sent an authority to.

We asked the Ombudsman to make an enquiry and were told that they contacted the governor at the HRMU. The governor said that the authority was not given to the prisoners because it was un-solicited. We were also told that the governor did not notify the prisoners.

We also complained that Justice Action had not been notified that the mail was terminated.


Eventually we contact the Prisoners Legal Service (PLS) to take the forms into the prison because the Ombudsman was not helping at all even though we stated that these were medical complaints and were urgent.

On 16 March 2004 we were contacted by Will Hutchins Senior Solicitor PLS who stated,

"I returned from leave yesterday. Prior to going on leave I sent the authorities to Manfred Dougall & Company, solicitors who do visit for us at Goulburn CC. For your information I enclose a copy of their reply dated 26/2/04 advising of their unsuccessful attempt to have the authorities signed."

Manfred Dougall & Company said in a letter dated 26 February 2004 they confirm their attendance at HRMU, Goulburn Correctional Centre on 25 February 2004,

"We attempted to obtain authorities from six inmates. As legal visits at HRMU are conducted through perspex barriers, correspondence or documents cannot be handed directly to the inmates, but rather must be passed onto the prisoner via the officer on duty."

So much for "legal professional privilege" between a client and solicitor. These prisoners had been denied their right to legal assistance, their right to give instructions, and their right to waive their privacy - in order to receive community support, Not even the Prisoners Legal Service complained about not being able to take instructions off the prisoners.

On 31 March 2004 Scott had been found not guilty of the murder of the strict protection prisoner due to mental illness and sent to a segregation unit at Long Bay and not the forensic unit in the prison hospital and subsequently died at 4pm on 7 June 2004.


The Australian Institute of Criminology's Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia - 1996 just don't cover the Goulburn HRMU according to Mr Ron Woodham Commissioner of Corrective Services. The High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) is the centrepiece of a major $22M redevelopment of Goulburn Correctional Centre.

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 S. I have enclosed a copy of S'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. Letter from the prisoner to his mother.

A TOTAL ABUSE OF POWER

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.

By Justice Action 18 June 04

Labels: 20022004assaultdcsdeaths-in-custodyhuman-rights-abuselong-bay-prisonmalicious-damagemental-illnessnswprison-abuseprison-treatmentprisons-and-punishmentsilverwater-prison

Inquest into the death in custody of Scott Simpson




On the first day of the inquest into the death of a prisoner Scott Simpson, then 36, who was found hanging in his segregation cell [solitary confinement cell] at Long Bay jail in 12-wing area 2, at approximately 8.45 pm on 7 June 2004, the court heard evidence that there was a bureaucratic problem that may have led to his death.
But his family has said that he didn't deserve to die behind bars.

Penrith police had originally charged Scott Simpson with 
malicious damage after striking a car windscreen with a baseball bat during a domestic dispute in March 2002, which landed him in custody.

He was sent to the 
Silverwater Remand Centre to await trial on the malicious damage charge.

On the first day that Scott arrived at Silverwater Remand Centre he was supposed to be assessed in relation to his medical condition. He was subsequently placed in a cell on his own, in the main prison.

But about an hour later a child sex offender X, who was on protection from the main prisoners who was brought up from Junee prison, was placed in the same cell with Scott.

In the morning the prisoner on protection was found dead in the cell.

Scott was subsequently charged with murder of X and sent to the High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) at Goulburn Correctional Centre.

The HRMU is a box within a box with no fresh air or sunlight used for the treatment of the worst of the worst offenders in the prison system, including some prison scapegoats alleged to be gang members and those that buck the system. The HRMU is also now used for suspected terrorist scapegoats dragged off the street by ASIO.

Shortly after Scott was sent to the HRMU the brother of the alleged sex offender, that Scott Simpson killed Mr Y, who was also in prison at Junee jail and also a sex offender, contacted Justice action with grave fears that, "he thought he was going to be next."

"My brother was sent to his death and placed into the main," he said.

"Am I going to be next? Will they do that to me?"

He was quite fearful that his brother might have been set up by the authorities and sent to his death. 
[My understanding is that is in fact the case.]

He asked Justice Action how he could avoid this danger? Justice Action reminded him that reporting it was the first step and that we would make some enquiries, which we did. But as usual when making enquires with the Department of Corrective Services we didn't get very far. But at least we could keep an eye on his case if there were any more problems.

Shinning a light by asking questions can prevent some abuse by authorities.

Justice Action also received numerous letters during that time from Scott during his 26-month lockdown.

"Mum, I'm freezing and starving," he said.

He told JA that he was being hit with microwaves and that ASIO was behind it.

He sounded acutely paranoid about his situation and it appeared that he was not getting any help. It also appeared that his psychiatric illness was being exacerbated by his segregation 
[solitary confinement] and it is our understanding that segregation causes mental illness.

JA followed his case and found the psychiatric report that was also available to the Department of Corrective Services, suggesting that 
they were well aware of his mental condition as a psychiatric report was obtained by theSerious Offenders Review Council for assessment.

The psychiatric report dated 7 January 2003, claimed that, " For the past 13 months or more Mr Simpson 
has been suffering from an acute psychotic major psychiatric illness."

Edited Conclusion:

Mr. Simpson is suffering from a mental illness as defined in the New South Wales Mental Health Act and requires treatment in a psychiatric hospital. He suffers from a psychotic disorder, which involves systematised paranoid delusions. He also has auditory hallucinations. Although he is receiving anti-psychotic medication, he remained psychotic at the time of the interview. He was clearly distressed and paranoid in his interactions with others. He has been in custody for almost four months.

If Scott wasn't getting any help with his psychiatric illness then it was clear to JA that it was possible he was being mistreated. It was also possible that he was not properly assessed on at least two of his last two placements and that had put him at risk.

Justice Action sent all the prisoners at the HRMU an authorisation to make some enquires on their behalf, as at least 25 prisoners had complained by then, of being mistreated in the unit. The authorities were telling them they were not segregated [in solitary confinement], when they insist they were. That they had to earn small things and that was insensitive to their basic needs. That they were not getting proper medial treatment had no constructive lifestyle, fresh air, sunlight or decent exercise, amongst many other complaints.

They sent their signatures on a signed application through another concerned person who had visited a prisoner at the HRMU.

Subsequently all the authorisations sent to the those prisoners who requested JA's help were confiscated by the Governor at the prison for approximately 11-13 months - during the period Scott Simpson remained helpless, sick and isolated.

(PIAC) the Public Interests Advocacy Centre was notified and assisted Justice Action to have the Governor and the Commissioner of Corrective Services review and release the authorities sent by JA so the prisoners could get help.

The reason the prisoners needed to send JA the authorities was because if those who want to assist them are not related to the prisoner then they are prevented from making enquiries about prisoners under the provisions of the 
Privacy Act. [?]

Why JA needed the authorities from the prisoners was because the signed application the prisoners had originally sent never specified 
Justice Action in particular. A catch 22 but it meant no help for all those who suffered and probably still suffer unbearable consequences in extraordinary inhuman conditions at the HRMU even today.

Tracey Simpson Scott's sister said, "Why did they put him in segregation for 26 months, locked down for 23 hours a day and no contact with human people?

In June last year Scott was found not guilty of the murder of his cellmate on the grounds of 
insanity because he suffered from schizophrenia.

A few days later Scott Simpson 34 was found hanging in his long bay segregation cell in 12-wing area 2, hanging by a bed sheet with a hand written letter to his family on the floor of his cell.

His family say that they warned authorities that Scott needed psychiatric help.

Detective Senior Constable Chris Hogan from Maroubra police has told the inquest that he could not contact the prison officer, Paul McCormack who was the first person to find Scott Simpson hanging and that he never obtained a witness statement from him.

When questioned further Constable Hogan told the court that McCormack had left the department of Corrective Services shortly after Simpson's death and that he had tried on numerous occasions to contact him but to no avail and that he was unable to get a statement from the prime witness.

The court asked Senior Constable Hogan if McCormack could be located to see what he has to say? 
Hogan acknowledged that it was important and said he'll do that!

The president of the Mental Health Review Tribunal professor Duncan Chappell has told Simpson's inquest that there was a 
beaurocratic problem that the Supreme Court did not pass on his papers for psychiatric assessment.

"We were not getting rapid referrals...we were simply not aware of Mr Simpson's case," he said.

Professor Chappell has told the court that as many as one time there could be as many as forty inmates waiting to be admitted to the jails psychiatric hospital. He said if there is no bed for them they are likely to be placed in another part of the prison system.

"There are simply not enough places in the hospital for the number of forensic patients that exist."

He said that this is a tragedy that should have been averted and that this is inadequate treatment of a forensic patient.

Forensic Psychiatrist Professor David Greenberg told the court that Simpson's psychiatric illness could have been made worse by his segregation 
[solitary confinement] depending on how he handled the isolation and his previous experience of that environment.

"In his acute psychiatric state he was at risk of self-harm", he said.

His sisters say that he 
should have been in hospital not solitary confinement.

His sister Kelly Simpson said, "They just locked him up and threw away the key, that's how I feel about it."

And Tracey said, "and then they tell us in the paperwork that a bed had become available to him when he died."

The Simpson's say that there brother was supposed to be receiving medication in custody yet he was found with just 3mg of paracetamol in his system.

Questions arise about the duty of care by DCS:

Why was Scott not diagnosed upon his arrival at Silverwater if he had a mental illness?

If he had been assessed as having a mental illness, would he have been placed in a difficult situation or with another person?

Why was a child sex offender put in the main and in Scott's cell? There is also an obligation because of peer pressure in the main to beat up a protection prisoner in the main or be put on protection for being a dog and not doing something about it!

Did the Department of Corrective Services have a duty of care 'not to place Scott in a difficult situation without any treatment?

Why was Scott not placed in a mental health facility if as the psychiatric report states he has a mental illness?

Why wasn't he sent to a hospital for treatment immediately after being found not guilty of murder due to mental illness and many months of segregation?

There is also another strange twist if you want to believe it is possible!

The authorities had known Scott Simpson very well from his previous time in jail, he was very well known by the system and they knew that he would stand up for himself and would not allow the authorities to compromise his human rights. That is if he had a way of preventing that from happening. In jail they call it 
staunch but outside they'd call it dissent! Standing up for your rights!

But in the HRMU there is no such thing, there are no hanging points and no way out but gas and then you will do anything that the authorities want, right or wrong.

Modern jails don't burn and modern glass doesn't break. One wonders whether Scott had some idea that he was going to be sent back to insanity, after all, he never made it for any sort of treatment?

Many prisoners in segregation self harm and I think if they could not escape it that would be insanity so the sight of prison bars in an old style jail could be seen as a chance to escape 'insanity'. [And in Solitary Confinement at Long Bay Prison that's where he found the bars to hang himself.]

So there is a greater possibility of suicide or I think in this case you may call it euthanasia. It's just a possibility that ran through my own mind having some understanding of what it's like freezing and hungry in a segregation
[solitary confinement] cell in Goulburn in the middle of winter without any hanging points, to some people that could be unbearable.

The inquest continues for two days and then resumes on February 28 at the Glebe Coroners Court Sydney.


By Justice Action 28 November 05


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We the inmates, [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 inmates throughout the system. As we are told that we are not in a segregation units, [solitary confinement units], but we are treated as though we are in one.

We the inmates 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 inmates throughout the system. As we are told that we are not in a segregation units, but we are treated as though we are in one.

Firstly we are being housed in a segregation type environment and yet we are being told that we are not in segregation but we are on normal discipline status, this is in regards to 9 unit and 8 unit of the HRMU.

This is totally false, we are not being housed as normal discipline prisoners, but we are being housed as segregation prisoners, and in some cases inmates are being housed in 7 unit which is officially called and used as a segregation and those prisoners are being told that they are not in segregation.

They are telling us that we are on a program" this is merely the legal wording they are using to disguise the fact that we are really being housed as segregation prisoners.

The only so called program that is currently operating in the HRMU is not designed to help inmates better themselves and try to get REHABILITATION and try to move forward, but it has been designed purposely to ensure that inmates do not move forward to better themselves, and effectively end up staying in segregation for as long as possible and in most cases for years.

The so called program is also designed simply to give correctional staff the power to play God with what little day to day necessities we can actually get within the HRMU.

Basically its designed so that the correctional staff can punish the inmates and take away what little privileges we have or have been given, without even being charged with any offence or having any other formal disciplinary action taken against them.

So effectively if we are not jumping through hoops for them all day we will be dealt with in an off the record manner. As a result of this it is causing us inmates in the HRMU a lot of stress and frustration's, anger and the feeling of injustice, on a daily basis, over the continual deprivation of quite a lot of day to day necessities, which normal discipline prisoners have access to, and I have to say unlimited access to it every day.

We all feel that this kind of treatment is purposely designed to push the inmates over the edge in the hope they will lash out in various unlawful ways so as to give the correctional staff an excuse to take even more things away from the inmates and keep the inmates locked away in here even longer.

This is why we are lodging our concerns and grievances to you, because we are trying to get some form of justice, some equal opportunities as normal discipline inmates (if that is in fact what we are), and we are trying to avoid the inevitable madness we are all heading to under this current regime in the HRMU.

Past history on prisoners has shown that when prisoners are put in segregation environments for lengthy periods of time and subjected to stressful and frustrating living conditions, the results is always the same, the day to day pressures become too much and it is only a matter of time before prisoners end up behaving in violent and anti social ways on a larger scale.

This is what we are trying to avoid, also recent studies has shown that when inmates are housed in positive, productive, minimal stress environments the inmates are far more positive and productive and are not walking around all day either stressed, depressed, unhappy and frustrated and the likely hood of inmates behaving in violent, anti social ways is highly remote.

We cannot understand why a positive approach is not being used with us inmates of the HRMU and instead we are being forced to live under a highly stressful and frustrating regime.

Given the facts of what past correctional centres history has shown and what recent official prison studies has shown (which we are quite certain then NSW prison officials are fully aware of). We are highly suspicious and convinced about what the correctional staff and their regime is trying to achieve with the inmates of the HRMU.

Nearly all the inmates in the HRMU are serving life sentences or sentences around 20 year mark, so it is obvious that the only thing we have to look forward to is trying to live out our lives in prison as positively and productively as possible under as least stress and frustration as possible.

What we do not understand is this? If you take all that away from us, what else do we have to look forward to? This is a question still yet to be answered by anyone.

Since the HRMU was opened in September 2001, there has been at least one inmate who has attempted to take his life; (possibly more records will show).

There have been numerous incidences of physical altercations between inmates and correctional staff and there has been numerous inmates go on hunger strikes, plus there is one inmate who is continually committing self-harm (records will show).

Some inmates have smashed their TV, and other electrical's out of total frustration and depression there is constantly verbal altercations between inmates and correctional staff, on an almost daily basis.

Some inmates are effectively being punished in various ways without there even being any unlawful incidents, charges laid or formal disciplinary action been taken.

This is not the regime of a normal discipline inmate in fact this current HRMU regime is not even a standard segregation regime.

The rest of the NSW prison system (normal discipline especially) is not being subjected to this kind of treatment, so why are we being subjected to this kind of treatment? We all strongly feel that this is total discrimination and unfair treatment and abuse of power by the authorities.

We declare that it is affecting the prisoners mentally and physically.

It seems clear to us all that under this HRMU regime we are only heading in one direction a counter productive negative one.

The complaints and grievances in regards to our current living conditions are as follows:

We are unable to get any fresh air in our cells at night through any open window. Instead we have to breathe in stale recycled air from air vents 24 hours a day. No other normal discipline prisoners are being subjected to this.

We are unable to associate together as normal discipline inmates; the best we can get is to associate with one other inmate at a time. And were separated into racial groups. This is not normal discipline.

We have no education or teachers permanent or even regular in the HRMU, we think this is very disturbing and appalling. We are being deprived of having unlimited access or even daily access to the phone to ring our friends, family and spouses outside. All other normal discipline prisoners across the state have unlimited access to a phone every day.

The H RMU has the facilities to allow inmate to ring up every day without disturbing the security and good order of the jail, yet they refuse to let us have any more than a few phone calls a week.

Obviously the phone is a major part of being able to maintain relationships with loved ones "especially whilst in prison" so why are we being deprived of a major part of our rehabilitation "contact with loved ones?" This is purely and simply a form of punishment and we feel it is most disturbing and appalling.

We are not allowed to have our own electrical items, which we have purchased through the prison activities buy ups. Obviously due to security reasons, which we can understand, ie TV, RADIO, JUG, SANDWICH MAKER, RICE COOKERS, WALKMANS, CD, PLAYERS, FAN. So the HRMU has to compensate for this and supply us with all those things.

But there's a catch, they have now turned our daily belongings into a long drawn out mind game, so effectively they can play God with items that are not even an issue to all other normal discipline inmates unless they have been charged or had disciplinary action taken against them and been taken off amenities, but to the HRMU program it takes us roughly a few months of sitting around in an isolation cell with nothing just to get a jug or a radio and if lucky a TV.

Then we have to wait till we are all the way to the end of the program just to get a sandwich maker, that's roughly 12 to 18 months minimal and without a single charge or any formal disciplinary action been taken, it can all be taken away from you instantly if the correctional staff wish to do so.

We have no equipment to cook a hot meal in our cells at night and they wont give us any or let us have our own rice cooker, and Goulburn is a very cold climate correctional centre, yet we are simply unable to cook a hot meal in our cell after 3:pm. We cannot keep warm in our cells at night because the air vent are pumping out cold air all day and night, they wont give us any kind of heating system, this is a breach of human rights.

The visits are of very poor quality to say the least, there is only bolt down metal tables and seating with no back support at all and that is what our visitors and us have to sit on for the duration of the visit, without back support our backs become stiff and sore (visitors and inmates) they do not even supply any activities for the kids, nor do they supply proper beverages for the visitors this is an insult to all the visitors that enter the centre.

We have no access to any sort of weight machine or cable weights, and no access to various cardiovascular training equipment, ie boxing bag, focus pads, skipping ropes, touch football. These things are a vital part of our well being as it offers a positive outlet for our excess energy and frustration, and also it is to help us keep fit and healthy, which the majority of us like to do. Doesn't make logical sense for us to be able to release our excess energy and frustration in a positive manner rather than a negative manner?

We are unable to purchase on the canteen buy up a lot of the food and items that all the other "normal discipline" prisoners can purchase on the canteen buy up. Fair enough if we can't have food in tin or glass due to security reasons, but why can't we get appropriate substitutes? Because at present our food situation is far from a "normal discipline" standard.

Our limited activities buy up-is not anywhere near a normal discipline standard. And yet most of the items on the normal discipline activities are in no way a risk to the good order and security of the jail. We ask why can't we have a broader range of items like every other normal discipline inmate.

There are a lot of aboriginal prisoners in the HRMU, all of whom like to do indigenous artwork and paintings as part of their culture and education,yet to this day are still unable to do so.

We cannot get to buy music of our individual liking because 95 per cent of the music we try to buy through the activities buy ups is only available on CD, and not on tape, and we are only allowed to have walkmans which play tapes, and not CD players so this is not normal discipline.

We all strongly believe that the so-called program we are all living under is not a program at all, but cunningly designed tool used to deprive us of a lot of day-to day necessities, used to play mind games in order to cause us maximum stress and frustration, anger and confusion used to stop us moving forward in the so called program at a fair pace, used to give the correctional staff the power to play God over us and take away what little we do have without being charged for anything at all, it is used to keep us in a segregation type environment for an 'indefinite amount of time.'

This is not normal discipline, this is unfair treatment, discrimination, and lack of equal opportunity, counter productive, stress, frustration, anger and depression, which only creates and unstable-unacceptable environment.

It is unprecedented what is happening to us, as no other normal discipline inmates are being subjected to this kind of treatment anywhere within the state of NSW and this is a total abuse of power.

We the inmates of the Goulburn HRMU are stating that this current so called program is not designed in the better interests of our mental and physical well being (short term or long term).

It is designed to give the correctional staff the power to deprive us of basic daily necessities and to play mind games with us and to make a bad thing even worse for us the inmates.

In short, the treatment of the inmates here in the HRMU is nothing short of total abuse - miss management and misuse of power by the correctional staff - to push the inmates over the edge - so they have to stay here longer and longer under these conditions - with no regards to there mental health or well being - not even the professional staff here will go against this system - they would rather turn a blind eye to it all to save there own jobs - they spend most of there time sitting with the correctional staff in the officer station when prisoners have been asking to see them for some time - so we are not getting any help from no one and things are only going to get worse much worse over time.

For an example when the centre was first opened there was only three stages to the so called program but as soon as a group of Aboriginal prisoners came to the centre for allegedly assaulting correctional staff they brought the stages up to 12 stages so our thinking is what's next 100 stages.

We all appreciate you taking the time to read our letter and we hope that it has made good sense and has been perfectly understandable to you. We trust that you will look into these matters fully and do what you can to assist us before things get right out of hand.

In interviews the commissioner has stated on a number of occasions that this centre is at this time housing inmates that are deemed to be the worst of the worst, if this is the case then where are the kid killers, and the paedophiles, and the granny killers that the law states are the lowest of our society?

So if that is the case then it is all right for the commissioner to appear on TV and radio and state to our family and friends plus the public that we are the worst of the worst of our society.

We would seriously appreciated if you took time to peruse this matter as well.

Yours truly
Prisoners of the HRMU
Goulburn Correctional Centre

By Prisoners at the HRMU 19 November 03

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Australia: Private Prisons, Junee NSW
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NSW Prisons Inmate Development Committee speaks out
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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."

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RESTORING TRUE JUSTICE:
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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".

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The punishment: Is the 'crime'
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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.

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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.

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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'.


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.]

Justice Action
Justice Action is a community based organisation of criminal justice activists. We are prisoners, academics, victims of crime, ex-prisoners, lawyers and general community members. We believe that meaningful change depends upon free exchange of information and community responsibility.

Beyond Bars Alliance colleagues
I imagine all of you received Justice Action's email yesterday regarding the position of Inspector General of Corrective Services.

Community Restorative Centre
NSW spends more than half a billion tax dollars a year on prisons. It costs $60,000 to keep someone in maximum security for a year: more than double the minimum wage. CRC looks for and implements better solutions to the high social and economic costs of crime.

Sisters Inside Inc
Sisters Inside Inc. is an independent community organisation, which exists to advocate for the human rights of women in the criminal justice system, and to address gaps in the services available to them. We work alongside women in prison in determining the best way to fulfil these roles.

Smart Justice
Smart Justice does not support any party but calls for investment in prevention, alternatives to custody and initiatives that tackle the causes of crime. It is important to dispel the myths about 'law and order' and promote real solutions to crime and violence.

Shine For Kids
What happens for a young person who has a parent in prison?
There are a lot of consequences for children or young people who have a parent in prison. During Groupwork the kids themselves have identified as being:

Children of Prisoners' Support Group
Children of Prisoner's welcomes Ann Symonds as our first Patron at this years AGM and screening of "The Space in Between" video , and will have a visual display to demonstrate the invisible population of children effected by parental incarceration.


REPORT CARD ON NSW PRISONS


Ending the 'institutionalised bash' now replaced by the institutionalised 'solitary confinement' cave their heads in bash.

Former Royal Commissioner Justice John Nagle and Professor Tony Vinson are the keynote speakers at a seminar this week marking 25 years since the landmark Nagle Report into NSW prisons.


Leading criminologists, academics and prison activists will examine the legacy of the Nagle report and outline a number of areas that point to a deterioration in conditions in the state's jails.

Speakers include NSW Attorney General, Bob Debus; Professor Tony Vinson (former Commissioner of Corrective Services following the Nagle Report);); Associate Professor Chris Cunneen (Law Faculty, University of Sydney); Dr Eileen Baldry (School of Social Work, UNSW); Dr Richard Matthews (Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Corrections Health Service); Brett Collins (Justice Action); Professor David Brown (Law Faculty, UNSW).

"The key differences over 25 years are the ending of the institutionalised bash; the significant increase in the prison population and the expansion in the number and cost of prisons; the tripling over this period in the proportion of Indigenous prisoners and women; and the influence of drug use and criminalisation on the operation, culture and security of prisons and the health of prisoners" 
said Professor David Brown, from the Law Faculty at UNSW.

[Ending the 'institutionalised bash' now replaced by the institutionalised 'solitary confinement' cave their heads in bash.]

"It is vital to rekindle the spirit of the Nagle era and embark on a program of penal reform which aims to reduce both prison numbers and the high levels of recidivism, thereby reducing levels of crime and promoting community safety," he said.

The seminar, which will be chaired by Meredith Burgmann MLC and opened by NSW Attorney General Bob Debus is organised by the UNSW Faculty of Law and the Centre for Health Research in Criminal Justice.

What: The Nagle Report into prisons 25 years on

When: 5.30 to 7.30pm, Wednesday 25 February 2004

Where: Theatrette, NSW Parliament House

Background material is available on request.

Contact: Professor David Brown, UNSW Law Faculty 9385 2262; Associate Professor Michael Levy, Director, Centre for Health Research in Criminal Justice m 0407 270 034

Date Issued: Monday 23 Feb 2004

BACKGROUND MATERIAL TO PRESS RELEASE

"THE NAGLE REPORT INTO PRISONS 25 YEARS ON"
FREE PUBLIC SEMINAR: NSW Parliament House Theatrette 25 February 5pm for 5.50-7.30pm

General contacts: Prof David Brown, Law Faculty, Univ of NSW ph 9385-2262; 
D.Brown@unsw.edu.au


Dr Michael Levy, ph 0407 270 034;
levym@chs.health.nsw.gov.au


On 25 February 2004 the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales and the Centre for Health Research in Criminal Justice will be co-hosting seminar to celebrate the Nagle Royal Commission. The seminar will be held in NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street Sydney, from 5.00pm. Entry will be free.

The seminar will be chaired by the Hon Meredith Burgmann M.L.C, President of the NSW Legislative Council, and opened by the NSW Attorney General, Bob Debus. Speakers are, in order, The Honourable John Nagle (the Royal Commissioner); Professor Tony Vinson (Commissioner of Corrective Services Following the release of the Nagle Report); Associate Professor Chris Cunneen (Law Faculty, Sydney University); Dr Eileen Baldry (School of Social Work, UNSW); Dr Richard Matthews (CEO of the NSW Corrections Health Service); Mr Brett Collins (Justice Action); and Professor David Brown (Law Faculty, UNSW).

In 1976 the New South Wales Government invited Mr Justice Nagle to head the Royal Commission into NSW Prisons. The Royal Commission's Report was tabled in Parliament in March 1978. The Nagle Royal Commission was the last major inquiry into NSW prisons.

The meeting will be an opportunity to revisit the achievements of the Royal Commission and to reflect on its legacy. Key issues include the extent to which the Nagle Report resulted in reform; the directions of imprisonment in the 25 years since the Nagle Report; the social and health consequences of these developments; and the prospects for real improvements in the future. Justice Nagle, the Royal Commissioner will reflect on his Report. He still feels that two of the most profound statements on prisons are those by Gustave de Beaumont and Winston Churchill with which he prefaced the introductory "Overview" of the Report. They were:

"When 'society' inflicts a punishment on those who have offended against its laws, society is obliged to avoid subjecting them to a corrupting system in the place where they are held captive, not to increase their misfortune by increasing their vices. Society has the right to punish, [?] but not to corrupt those punished. It is granted the awful power of killing the guilty; no one recognizes its rights to deprave them." (Gustave de Beaumont, 1843).

["The punishment is the crime for a world without violence. Smacking children ought to be seen as assault. The government promotes and teaches violence to its military, police, and guards. Violence is also promoted in sport and on TV. To prevent violent crime in our society there has to be no violence. None!" (Gregory Kable 2004).]

"The mood and temper of the public with regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilisation of any country. (Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 1910).

Professor Tony Vinson, appointed Commissioner of Corrective Services in 1979 and charged with implementing the Nagle Report, will reflect on the experience and highlight the various obstacles to change. Prof Vinson says:

"Three of the Royal Commission recommended changes that went right to the heart of staff and management's conflicting values 
were prisoners' legal representation before Visiting Justices, prisoners being allowed to buy any printed material legally available in the community, and establishing prisoner needs committees at every prison. These were initiatives that proved abhorrent to some senior officers let alone general custodial staff.

[At present there are no Visiting Justices going into the prisons, for prisoners to be legally represented? That means the prison governor has now become judge and jury of any alleged internal offence and punishment. In a regime whereby solitary confinement (that causes mental illness) can be metered out as punishment, indefinitely.]

One Superintendent said either he was mad or the proponents were insane. I well remember being told at one maximum-security prison that no one had brought forward an agenda item for the needs committee for several months only to uncover a backlog of 76 items. 
The point is that the tradition of prisoners having absolutely no rights runs very deep in our penal tradition.

It is revitalized every time a politician makes careless remarks along the lines 
"We've bricked them in their cells." The post-Royal Commission experience showed that the only way of preventing the horrors to which Nagle drew attention was to operate on the basis that those in custody are incarcerated citizensAny deviation from this approach feeds an unwholesome streak in human nature, produces indiscipline among staff and tarnishes the fundamental morality of our society." (Contact ph 0412 035 077; tonyvinson@bigpond.com).

Associate Professor Chris Cunneen will examine the legacy of the Nagle Report on Indigenous imprisonment, which has tripled in NSW since Nagle reported in 1978. He argues that:

"the issue of Aboriginal prisoners was only marginal to the Nagle report. Nagle mentioned that there were 'no special programs' for Aboriginal prisoners. The only specific recommendation in relation to Aboriginal prisoners related to access to field officers from the Aboriginal Legal Service.

Contemporary understanding of Aboriginal issues in prison is dominated by the Royal Commission into 
Aboriginal Deaths in Custody which fell mid way in the 25 years between Nagle and the present.

The impact of the RCADIC has meant a positive recognition in the importance of specific programs for Aboriginal prisoners this has been reflected in the development of places like:

1. Yetta Dhinnakkal operates on a 10,000 hectare property near Brewarrina

2. Warakirri is a centre, which operates at Ivanhoe with up to 50 minimum security prisoners most of whom are Indigenous.

There has also been increasing recognition of the importance Indigenous Operated Post Release support programs.

The next step is to promote Indigenous Controlled Residential Alternatives, particularly as places where Aboriginal people can serve their sentences.

This involves a more fundamental shift in relocating power away from Corrections to (Aboriginal) community-based organisations. However more negative developments include the dramatic long term growth of Aboriginal imprisonment which has outstripped the growth of the general prison population. The increase has been particularly acute for Aboriginal women prisoners.

To the extent that there is reform in the prison system in relation to Aboriginal people it is around what might be called administrative and programmatic reform rather than structural change. The most exciting things are happening outside prison in the sentencing area around initiatives like circle sentencing." 
(Contact ph 9351 0239;chriscu@law.usyd.edu.au).

Dr Eileen Baldry will discuss women's imprisonment. She says that:

"The most outstanding features regarding women in NSW prisons over the past 25 years that run counter to the spirit and letter of Justice Nagle's report and recommendations have been:

* the more than trebling of women's imprisonment rate, from 6 to 20 per 100,000, and proportion, from 2.5% to 7%;

* the iniquitous and indefensible rise in the over-representation of Aboriginal women in prison from 4% to 30%;

* the huge increase in the proportion of women held on remand from 8% to 30%; and

* the huge proportion of women in prison with a mental illness or disturbance with over 60% of women in prison found to have had a mental and 90% a psychiatric disorder in the previous year and

* the almost complete neglect of post-release support for women contributing to a rapid and high reincarceration rate.

These overwhelm and swamp some positive internal prison developments such as the Transitional Centres, the mothers and children program, more work and education opportunities, some improved accommodation and the a new women's classification system.

Although there has been some increase in women's violent offending since 1978, it is still the case that by far the majority of women are in prison for non-violent offences and on short sentences. Nagle's guiding principles that non-prison alternatives be used to ensure no increase in the prison population and that prison be the last resort appear to have been actively resisted in recent years in the case of women prisoners in NSW." 
(Contact: ph 0425 206667; e.baldry@unsw.edu.au)

Richard Matthews, Head of the Centre for Health research in Criminal Justice, will give an overview of prison health care services since Nagle. He will argue that:



"The Nagle Report identified equitable access to health services as vitally important. This is not merely recognition of the rights of prisoners as citizens but recognition of the role that illness can play in the commissioning of crime and the importance of effective treatment in the overall rehabilitative endeavour. Health services to prisoners and juvenile detainees are now provided by a statutory arm of NSW health which is increasingly well resourced and informed by appropriate research."(Contact: Dr Michael Levy, ph 0407 270 034;levym@chs.health.nsw.gov.au).

[How is 'indefinite solitary confinement' that can send prisoners mentally ill, effective treatment? How come decisions by custodial staff override their medical needs in prisons?]

Brett Collins of Justice Action will present prisoners' activist perspective, including feedback from serving prisoners on changes in prison conditions and experience since the Nagle Report.

Mr Collins says that: " NSW prisoners suffer more sickness and drug dependency, and lower morale than was ever conceived by Mr Justice Nagle in 1978. The pre-Nagle bashings by staff have been replaced by contrived racial violence and internal community divisions organised by prison management.

Nagle's hopes and the public's expectations of the benefit from "corrections" money are instead expressed as the return of prisoners to the streets traumatised as walking time bombs."

(Brett can be contacted directly at Justice Action on 9660-9111;JA@justiceaction.org.au).

Professor David Brown, Law Faculty, University of NSW, will offer an overview of changes since Nagle across a range of areas such as prison populations and cost; sentencing; physical conditions; bashings; prisoner to prisoner assaults; sexual assaults; riots; time out of cells; escapes; prison disciplinary offences; prisoners rights; drug use and security; and prison programs.

Professor Brown says that "the major achievements of the Nagle period were the verification of prisoners' accounts of the bashings at Bathurst in 1970 and 1974 and the 33 year Grafton regime; the subsequent ending of the regime of institutionalised bashings; the closure of Katingal; and improvements in physical conditions and in prison programs."

Professor Brown says that "the key differences over 25 years are arguably the significant increase in the prison population, the expansion in the number and cost of prisons, the tripling over this period in the proportion of Indigenous prisoners, and the influence of drug use on the processes of criminalisation, the operation, culture and security of prisons and the health of prisoners."

He says that it is "vital to rekindle the spirit of the Nagle era and embark on a program of penal reform which aims to reduce both prison numbers and the high levels of recidivism, thereby reducing levels of crime and promoting community safety." 
(Contact ph 9385-2262; D.Brown@unsw.edu.au).

BEHIND THE NAGLE SYMPOSIUM
By Prisoners Perspectives 23 February 03

Hi Friends!


We promised to report on the CONSULTATION WITH NSW PRISONERS AUSTRALIA that we initiated in order to ensure that prisoners expressed their view on the effects of a prison Royal Commission twenty-five years ago.

The two hour symposium is being held at NSW Parliament on Wednesday 25/2/04 at 5 pm.

A number of state politicians supported the entitlement of Justice Action to find the views of NSW prisoners. They included the President of the Legislative Council herself Dr Meredith Burgmann (ALP letter below), Clover Moore (Independent), Lee Rhiannon (Greens), and John Ryan (Lib).

The Minister John Hatzistergos has not answered, but we know that a directive to refuse the letters entry has come from Commissioner Woodham's office.

What is he hiding from?


Justice Action


Letter from Meredith Burgmann
LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

THE HON. DR MEREDITH BURGMANN PRESIDENT OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

16 February 2004

Hon John Hatzistergos MLC
Minister for Justice
Level 25
59-61 Goulburn Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Dear John,


I am writing to ask your assistance in ensuring that the communication of prisoners' views to the Nagle Symposium at New South Wales Parliament House on February 25 2004 be facilitated.

Justice Action informs me that an ex-prisoner will be addressing the symposium on issues and conditions since the Nagle Report and seeks the perspectives of other current prisoners. Justice Action is of the opinion that the process of gathering prisoner's perspective could be greatly facilitated if you were to support their request that their letter be distributed to Inmate Committee Development Chairpersons in jails across NSW.

The request by Justice Action seems to me entirely reasonable and I would appreciate it greatly if you could assist them. Please find attached for your information a copy of their representation made to me, distribution to Inmate Development Committee chairpersons.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely
Meredith Burgmann


By Just Us 23 February 04

Related:

Jails the new asylums?
QUENTIN DEMPSTER: Asylum seekers -- no, not what you think -- but those who are so disillusioned with the current approach of our mental health system that they believe we should go back to the old ways and rebuild the asylums.

Inside Out Community Forum
Inside Out Association of NSW Incorporated is a newly formed initiative aiming towards developing genuine educational, rehabilitative, and re-integrative programs and assistance packages for prisoners and others effected by the criminal justice system, [criminal law system.]

Government justice not personal justice
Mr Collins said that, " No one is entitled to add to the court sentence to wreak personal vengeance on the offender, this is government justice not personal justice."

Risk Assessment Tools: Justice Health
As I mentioned at the time, there are indeed a large range of actuarial tools for making such assessments, but a review of the literature shows that their ability to predict dangerousness in any one individual is next to zero (or as the Macarthur Study puts it, "the unaided abilities of mental health professionals to perform this task are modest at best"

Experts: The Prisoner's Dilemma
[One] reason we are so-so scientists is that our brains were shaped for fitness [to the peopled environment], not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not. Conflicts of interest are inherent to the human condition, and we are apt to want our version of the truth, rather than the truth itself, to prevail.


Sentencing: Violent crime and practical outcomes
It's about just deserts, time to stop and reflect, to gain insight into your offending behaviour, to learn more ideas, retribution for the victims, and to set an example for the community.

The Nagle Report 25 years on
On 25 February 2004 the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales and the Centre for Health Research in Criminal Justice will be co-hosting a seminar to celebrate the Nagle Royal Commission. The seminar will be held in Parliament House, Macquarie Street Sydney, from 5.00pm. Entry will be free, but seating will be limited.

Practicably Perfect
Do you remember your first driving lesson? You were to steer as close to the curb when parking 'practicably' not perfectly or practically. Why? Because we are not as perfect as Premier Bob Carr wants to be seen. The degree of our mistakes depends on our experience and reflects on our upbringing and sometimes the lack of it.

Defining JA Mentoring
Mentoring is not a new concept. Justice Action graduated its first class of Mentors in December 2003. A good idea has legs of its own, and so the concept of one-on-one support for vulnerable people finding their way in society is now being taken seriously.

Call for royal commission into NSW prison health system
Mr Tony Ross a social justice activist said yesterday that a royal commission into the health system in NSW should be wide reaching to ensure that the Corrections Health Service, [Prisons Health Service], is also exposed because of reported widespread cover ups in the prisons health system.

CONS COMMIT CRIMES IN HASTE, NOW CAN REPENT AT LAWTEY Yes some peasants were out of work, hungry and desperate and had to find a way to feed their families, as they were not born with silver spoons in their mouths, Lord. They just robbed from the rich and gave to poor.

Australian prisoners numbers have increased by 50% over past 10 years In the past 10 years, the prisoner population in Australia increased by nearly 50% from 15,866 in 1993 to 23,555 in 2003, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This increase has exceeded the 15% growth in the Australian adult population in the same period.

NSW Police Association wants sentencing powers?
NSW Police Association president Ian Ball said Inspector Borland now feared for his safety because of a 63 year old man being released from prison after doing a quick 18 for manslaughter.

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.

Man wrongly imprisoned awarded $1m
A Sydney man who was acquitted of murder has won more than $1 million in damages for wrongful arrest and imprisonment. The New South Wales Supreme Court has agreed with Garry Raymond Nye's said that the charge was maliciously laid.

Forensic Hospital at Long Bay
NSW should reject the government decision to set up a secure forensic hospital at Long Bay - or in any place where it can be influenced by the Department of Corrective Services (DCS) (or probably Corrections Health Service (CHS) for that matter).

NSW leaves nation behind in rate and cost of jailing people
NSW not only has the most prisoners of any Australian state but also has the most violent prisoners, among the highest rates of recidivism and an increasingly expensive prison system, a Auditor-General's report says.

HRMU Solitary Confinement And Stopping Violence
I refer to your article on the (HRMU) HIGH RISK MANAGEMENT UNIT AT GOULBURN, TOTAL ABUSE OF POWER:

Database clears up crimes but not used to clear up miscarriages?
NSW Police Minister John Watkins said at the launch of a Sydney conference of international forensic experts meeting to mark 100 years of fingerprinting in NSW.

But there are Keys!
Charles Dickens said, "Life is a secret and you haven't got the key." "And you never will have."



NSW Parole Board: Catherine Dovey


The daughter of former prime minister Gough Whitlam has resigned from the NSW Parole Board, complaining of political interference from the Carr Government.

Catherine Dovey has fired off an angry letter to the Parole Board chairman Charles Bannon, QC, a retired judge, saying she could no longer tolerate outside manipulation of the board's independence by the Government and the media.

She singled out Justice Minister John Hatzistergos, who has been a vocal critic of the seven-member board and its decisions.

Last month he angrily criticised the board for releasing prisoner Patrick Francis Horan.

Horan who suffers schizophrenia was freed after serving almost 18 years in jail for shooting 25-year-old Constable Paul Quinn at Perthville, near Bathurst, on March 30, 1986.

Hatzistergos showed his displeasure by ordering a complete review of the board and indicated that he would be making sweeping changes to its structure 
taking the police line that, "Horan should not have been released".

Ms Dovey, who is the partner of Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams, says in her letter that the board must retain its independence to serve its legislative and community purpose.

She is concerned that the board is being asked to dance to the tune of the "law and order" agenda of the Government, the Opposition and the media, and that it is in danger of becoming a rubber stamp.

[And it wouldn't be the only government structure in NSW that has been changed into a rubber stamp for Bob Carr and his cronies. The 'Innocence Panel' felt a similar wrath and is actually suspended before it had dealt with its first case. Carr and his cronies have also sacrificed the Office of 'Inspector General of Corrective Services'. The 'Anti Discrimination Board' has also felt the wrath and so it goes on and on and on. In NSW we have bullies who want total power.]

One of Hatzistergos's first initiatives after becoming minister less than a year ago 
was to change the law, forcing the board to make public its reasons for releasing a prisoner on parole.

He also 
increased the number of judicial members on the board from three to four and said all decisions would be monitored by his office to see if further reforms were necessary.

Late last year he did not renew the appointment of Redfern Aboriginal-Kanak leader Shireen Malamoo and later appointed former community services minister Fay Lo Po.
Monday, February 23, 2004

Pat Horan released from jail today

Patrick Horan is set to be released from Long Bay jail today after serving 18 years for manslaughter, after shooting dead father-of-two Constable Paul Quinn.

NSW Police Association wants sentencing powers?

NSW Police Association president Ian Ball said Inspector Borland now feared for his safety because of a 63 year old man being released from prison after doing a quick 18 for manslaughter.

Release Pat Horan for a just community

The release from jail of a prisoner was contrary to the NSW government's wishes, Premier Bob Carr said today. The NSW Parole Board today decided 63-year-old Patrick Horan could be released from jail next week after serving nearly 18 years jail for manslaughter for shooting 25-year-old constable Paul Quinn at Perthville, near Bathurst, on March 30, 1986.

The Ku Klux Klan and Patrick Horan

The State government has logged objections to Patrick Horan a NSW prisoner's planned release, convicted of the manslaughter of a police officer and seriously wounding another. Justice Minister John Hatzistergos says the NSW Parole Board intends to grant parole to Patrick Francis Horan, who committed the crimes near Bathurst in NSW's central west in 1986.


NSW Parliament Theatrette Statement of Brett Collins of JUSTICE ACTION

I acknowledge that I am on aboriginal land.

Thank you for inviting me here today. Let me start by grounding what I have to say in my personal experience


I was in Grafton Jail when Justice Nagle visited with David Hunt back in 1976.

I was serving 17 years, was in segregation and had served five of the almost ten I eventually did. The prison movement outside had made the Royal Commission aware of the plight I was in as one of the prisoner organisers. That attention meant I was safer from that time on. Although two years later I was returned to Grafton with the classification of intractable.

Since 1971 I have been involved with prisoners and have lived and worked with the prison community. The humanity of those in there and the lies and unfairness we had to deal with had such an impact that I recognised it as my life work.

Early in my sentence I learnt some law to help myself and then those around me. We formed the Prisoners Legal Cooperative with a shared library and adopted the phrase "Prisoners are people". That assertion is just as relevant today.

For those of you who don't have the experience let me say briefly that prison generates a very powerful culture with some enviable values. It is mutually supporting, plain speaking, egalitarian, and with clearly stated basic principles of loyalty and sharing.

Many of those who lived with me then are still my best friends. Still looking after each other.

Many are here tonight. Last weekend I was invited to farewell a dear friend. He is weeks away from dying of cancer. His name is Gary Nye, previously known as Gary Van Heythuysen. He was one of the warriors of the Bathurst riot in February 1973 that led to the Royal Commission.

Gary got another 2 years for it. He exemplifies the spirit of the prisoner community today Our commitment to resist degradation and dehumanisation. To work with people of goodwill for a better community.

Prison authorities have responded to prisoner solidarity by intensifying their efforts to divide prisoners from each other, and their friends and supporters outside. NSW has adopted wing segregation by race, a practice long known from US experience to increase violence both in the prisons and outside.

Visitors are harassed and treated as criminals by the current prison administration. Prisoners are prevented from receiving magazines like Framed or visits from community supporters. Prisoners are denied the right to speak to journalists and activists about their experience even as their right to privacy is abolished and they are treated as pawns by the government's PR machine. Prisoners have even had the right to seek compensation for injuries suffered due to abuse and neglect by prison authorities taken away from them by this government.

Although it may appear that the worst of the abuses identified by Nagle have now almost disappeared, in many ways they have just been updated and NSW prisoners have never been more vilified, abused and isolated than they are now.

I want to make six basic points today as we revisit the lessons of the NAGLE commission:

The first is that we the prisoners and ex-prisoners are and must be part of the dialogue. This is something we insist on because if the people who are directly affected by the prison system are not part of the solution as we seek reform then I suggest we don't have a solution.

We acknowledge the work of many of those here. You have stood behind us, beside us and sometimes in front of us. You have helped us gain access to the general community to counter some of the stereotypes. You have supported our projects and campaigns over the years, sharing information and access to power. Your trust and expectations ensure the success of our movement. You know who you are. We thank you.

My second point is that prison reform is an important part of the struggle for a better, fairer society.

Let us not minimise the importance of the job. Crime degrades community life. Prisoners are a touchstone to what is happening out there in the general community. To give up on prisoners condemns us all to a dangerous future.

The prison movement has links into the disenfranchised in all communities. In Sydney we have reason to be concerned about what is happening for Aboriginal people in Redfern or Muslims in Lakemba. On a global scale we are concerned about the frustrations and anger that lead to the community fear aroused by the Washington snipers and the nightclub bombings in Bali. People who live in Australian cities are vulnerable to individuals and groups who feel rejected whose human rights and human feelings are denied.

Confronting grieving relatives with lines of armed police, and refusing permission for a father to be at a son's funeral are practical symbols of the inhumanity that feeds this anger and are likely to provoke a similar or worse response.

And we are all responsible. Government responses are made in our name. We can't hide as non-combatants or innocent victims. Only by reaching out and offering goodwill and reconciliation can we avoid damaging ourselves.

We know this. Let me say this again we know we have the evidence now that shows clearly that more imprisonment leads to an increased likelihood of further offending.

Each jail term further weakens the base of community support, housing, jobs, family ties, relationships, links to the community that give people a stake in that community. Further, the whole system sytematically brutalises people, takes away dignity, self-respect and the opportunities to take responsibility that are the basis for humanity.

And mostly we fail to provide the opportunities of the 'time-out' in jailaway from the wider community for people to learn, to study, to rethink to overcome the disadvantages that led to them being there and to make contributions to society. Try living in an environment seemingly designed to breed fear and uncertainty 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you will understand how far we fall short of any real rehabilitation of prisoners through the current jail system.

Many of you here tonight know this. It is our duty to alert the public. To help people understand that they protect themselves by understanding, being kind, treating prisoners and those in the community at risk of becoming prisoners, as human. Instead of the being manipulated into resentment and vengeance we need a genuine program of reform . "Law and order" and the "lock up and throw away the key" attitudes are no solution to the community concerns about safety.

My fourth point is that this struggle needs effective prisoners organisations organisations run by and for prisoners and ex-prisoners.

We at Justice Action are one of these. We don't pretend to be the only one. For all of us in this work, our offering is a bridge. Our organisations have decades of service to prisoners and contact with the outside communities. We identify with prisoners and have represented their interests over the years.

Speaking for a moment about Justice Action. You will have seen the handouts, copies of Framed etc. At the moment we have seven significant campaigns running including a mentoring scheme which we have been working on for many years. In December last year we accredited the first 22 JA mentors through a TAFE training course, and are expanding its operation. There is a DVD of the graduation party available.

We get our financial support from the company Breakout Design & Print, which services many unions and community groups. Organisations who are concerned about crime and know of our work, ensure we have an independent financial base by passing their commercial work to Breakout. Breakout is ex-prisoner run and employs ex-prisoners.

I want to say a sincere thankyou for this support without it we would not have been able to do the work we have for the past 19 years.

Let me now turn to some of the issues that concern us here today.

If open and honest dialogue with prisoners is an essential part of the solution to the issues of jail reform and community safety then the government of New South Wales is going in the wrong direction.

Until 1997, we had meetings every six weeks with the commissioner and every two months with the minister. We had special prison visiting passes and organised community group visits, Suddenly they closed it down. They said we had tried to embarrass the dept. It turned out that the objection was to our involvement in public protests about the use of imprisonment.

Is the price of dialogue to be the silencing of the democratic right to protest?

Since that time the response from the prison authorities has been extremely defensive, blocking us at all levels they control.

Our magazine, Framed, now in its 45th edition, goes into every jail in Australia except Jails in the NSW (and the NT).

It is said that this is because of the 42nd edition where we published details of the Commissioner's history. The edition is on our website.

In line with standard journalistic practice, we gave him the chance to correct any inaccuracies. He declined. Instead his response was to ban its distribution. We are expecting shortly that Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission will find that the ban is a breach of human rights.

But the question remains:

Is the price of dialogue to be the silencing of the right to publish on matters of public interest ?

A more immediate concern is the situation that directly relates to this symposium. In order to bring to this forum the up to date position on issues that concern prisoners today we wrote to Inmate Development Committees asking for prisoners' feedback so that these could be shared with you tonight. We got support for this from numerous people including Dr Meredith Burgmann, Clover Moore MP, Lee Rhiannon MLC and John Ryan MLC. The Commissioner's office gave a directive to all governors and commanders that "This letter is not to be distributed under any circumstances."

Minister Hatzistergos said: "I am not prepared to waste departmental time and resources for an ad hoc and self-serving anthology of potentially inaccurate, prejudiced and highly relativistic prisoners' perspectives."

We (and the community) need to remember that, however much we brutalise and dehumanise those in prison, most if not all will eventually be released into the community. And there are far too few resources to deal with the problems we have create.

This leads me to my final point. And I make no apology for raising it here.

If we are to tackle the problems we have created by our current culture of repressive justice and imprisonment then we are going to need resources in the community to do this.

It is pointless for Corrective Services to be talking about a 'Through Care' system where prisoners are to be supported to make the transition back into the community unless the agencies in the community are given the resources to play their part in such a partnership.

Justice Action is one of these agencies. Just one but a significant one in that we have a long and (we think) honourable history of involving ex-prisoners, prisoners and their families in both advocacy and action for the human rights of those caught up in the justice system.

We have a core of activists working on the various campaigns, producing the magazine, FRAMED, developing the mentoring program, and the day to day work of providing a point of contact and assistance for people in and coming out of jail.

Let me say again a huge thankyou to the many people here who have given time, energy, and financial support to this work through your decision to deal with Breakout Printing for the design and print services your organisation needs. Without your support we would not be here today.

Breakout Design & Print has supported Justice Action for $30,000 a year, apart from volunteered time.

Your willingness to stand with us to support us in words and deeds particularly as we have come under attack in the last few years has been heartening not just to me and the core of Justice Action Activists but to the wider community of prisoners and their families.

I guess my final question tonight is about how much you value this kind of organisation independent of the government and the controls that can be exerted by threats to tighten the purse strings?

You may not always like us. You may not always support what we do. But do you believe that having this voice and the Channel it provides for the otherwise silenced voice of the prisoner community is important? And if so how will you support us?

We have material here tonight. We have people here tonight and we'd like to hear from you after the meeting either tonight or later if you are willing to help

And lest you think we are only about the serious and political let me extend an invitation to you to join us and some of the people we are working with at the Barbecue we're having at Breakout/Justice Action this Friday evening from 5 pm onwards. We look forward to meeting and working with you on these issues there or in the future.

==========================

Many are here tonight. Last weekend I was invited to farewell a dear friend. He is weeks away from dying of cancer. His name is Gary Nye, previously known as Gary Van Heythuysen. He was one of the warriors of the Bathurst riot in February 1973 that led to the Royal Commission.

(In loving memory of Gary Nye previously Gary Van Heythuysen who passed away this morning).


By Justice Action March 1, 2004

Justice Action
65 Bellevue St, Glebe, NSW 2037, Australia
P.O. Box 386, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
ja@justiceaction.org.au
voice: 612-9660 9111 fax: 612-9660 9100

Related:

Four Corners [Walls]: Bank Robbers in The Firing Line...
Well folks! Four Corners [Walls] is back "in the firing line" and around every corner there is another wall. They must go out and find these people, to match the profile they seek to exploit.

8,500 Prisoners in NSW, 2000 on Remand
The Government yesterday released figures which showed that the state remand population accused criminals who have been denied bail has reached 2000, up 200 from last year. This is the highest number of people on remand ever in NSW. As well, the state's overall prison population reached 8500 on February 1


I was bashed by colleagues: warden



A prison officer doing his rounds at Parklea jail ended up in the emergency ward claiming he had been beaten unconscious by four colleagues.

Ronald Singh had a split lip, rib injuries and ruptured blood vessels in his eyes. His uniform was splattered with blood.

The doctor who examined him on the evening of July 12 last year found his soft tissue injuries were consistent with an assault and the 
four officers were charged with assault in company.

But the case of John Pedro, Jason Hodges, John Borg and Tibor Semetka was dismissed after a two-day hearing in March when magistrate Ryan Maloney ruled there was not enough evidence to press ahead.

Security camera footage from the scene was not available as it is taped over every five days[?]

Evidence suggests Mr Singh was not having a great time of it at Parklea. Tendered in court were complaints about his behaviour towards female staff as well as his handling of dogs.

And within documents and transcripts from the police interviews tendered in the case there were suggestions from within the jail that Mr Singh was smuggling mobile phones for prisoners 
[?], charging them $500, which he denies.

The officers all claimed that on the night of the alleged incident they had merely come across Mr Singh clutching onto the sink unable to stand. He seemed groggy and strange.

Perhaps he had taken drugs, one suggested, had a fall or received some bad news, they thought. They offered to take him to the clinic but he refused. 
[?]

Mr Singh's family has written to the Premier and Attorney-General saying more witnesses needed to be contacted.

In July 2001 Mr Singh received a warning letter from the Corrective Services Commissioner, Ron Woodham, who had been made aware of allegations of inappropriate language and touching. 
[?]

The letter asked him to attend the first available sexual harassment prevention course.

Mr Singh had written to his superiors, claiming he was badly treated. "I have been bullied and harassed constantly by officers who like to show what their rank is compared to mine.

"[I have been] informed about not respecting ranks. I do acknowledge ranks but I will not respect people who think their ranks make them like COPS!!!".

During his police interview, a copy of which was tendered, officer 
John Pedro was told about the extent of Mr Singh's injuries.

"I think I've won a few world championships, I'd be able to do better than that," he quipped. "I got world titles for breaking from cement blocks to wood and just full contact fighting . . . yeah, I've fought all my life."

Corrective Services has established a taskforce to reduce contraband phones coming into prisons and another to investigate internal corruption.
[?]

That followed an ICAC hearing this week which was told Silverwater jail officer Shayne Hughes made $19,000 smuggling drugs, computer games and phones to an inmate. He hid the contraband in his underwear.

A Corrective Services spokesman told the Herald that in Mr Singh's case Mr Maloney's determination was being looked at and any grounds for disciplinary action were being considered internally.

But Mr Sing could do much better if he had a look at these statements from ex staff from the Department of Corrective Services that highlights the corruption he is faced with.

Ron Woodham my faithful Commissioner?
No justice, no equity, no integrity. These things will only come when the people concerned move on and retire. The future if we try hard enough now, but there are many stepping up to take their place. They use the ones they have something on from the past, and promote them, then they own them. If you get them straight up, and take action now, they will not be there to use in the future. Do not make deals, just bring them down as they appear, they won't be on your team in the future they will be on the teams of the likes of Woodham and Foxwell.

THE EX SCREW: They take out people like me straight up, when they know they will never own me. The minute I refused promotion, and the money I was lucky to be alive, not that being alive really matters to me any more, or at this time anyhow.
It is not how long you live, but how you live.!


Richard Charles Glass

THE WOODHAM:CV

• 1965: Joins the prison service and rises through the ranks to officer in charge of the farm at Long Bay.


Ron Woodham my faithful Commissioner?

Well this story was started when I was approached by Carl Asimus. Carl's complaint as an X employ of the NSW Department of Corrective Services in 1984.

By Just Them April 19, 2004

Something's Rotten, Ron: The NSW Government has just announced that this man doesn't need any oversight. Who is he? His employees call him 'J. Edgar Hoover' behind his back (Bearup, Good Weekend 12/2002). He is the Commissioner of Corrective Services.




Probation and Parole in NSW


I am a prisoner at the Goulburn Prison I refer to the New South Wales Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 Sect 135.

135. General Duty of Parole Board

(1) The Parole Board may not make a parole order for and offender unless it has been decided that the release of the offender is appropriate, having regard to the principle that the public interest is of primary importance.

(2) In making a decision under this section, the Parole Board must have regard to the following matters;

(a) any relevant comments made by the sentencing court

______________________________________________________

In reference specifically to (a) I make this comment.


My sentencing warrant orders Probation and Parole supervision for the duration of my additional term, which equals illegal imprisonment to date.

Since I requested some help from 
Justice Action and the authorities just before Xmas for the then corrections personnel to assist me I was moved so that my parole prospects would be thwarted even further.

I have been assaulted, locked in a cell for 100 days, denied legal calls and legal applications and notice to be represented at my April review hearing at the Parole Board.

The Prisoners Legal Service has breached promises to attend a visit.

As forecast by me 30-60 days prior my hearing, Case Management at Goulburn Correctional Centre
 falsified parole reports for their intention to refuse a decision outcome by suggesting that there are no accommodation, or programs etc.

The fact I forewarned they would do so and they have failed to visit the provided addresses and collate proper and custodial undertaking including some history. And failed to abide to section 135 of the Crimes (Administration of sentences) Act 1999, I have seen the parole units report conclusions and recommendations gain another intention to refuse parole.

The Department lent on me with 
*force* instead of *dialogue* that has interfered with me in the Goulburn maximum security yards, resulting in an assault, and 100 day lock down and hindered my legal representative, contact and review.

Representations will in April 2004 gain them my 3rd year of (parole imprisonment) without any breach.

PS) I am starving anyway trying to find any decent food or emergency pack and some toiletries. I feel like a bum for asking, but I need edible substance. Could anyone there spare time to attend my review hearing and record the proceedings that I am forced out of?

I will visit Justice Action in 2005, upon the expiration of my sentence and the courts decisions including the warrant orders. Probation and Parole release to supervision for the duration of my additional term and remit all and extended.

By Glen Rozinski NSW Prisoner 14 April 04

THE CHICKEN: What my friend is trying to say is that there are no programs in prison that have been implemented in order for him to achieve a parole or additional term set out for his parole to be used to re-integrate back into the community.

In fact when he complained about it the thugs in prison punished him by segregation, isolation, starvation, and conditions that excluded him from having toiletries.

Negative reinforcement, de-socialisation, bastardisation, cruel an unusual punishment at the cost to taxpayers like you of 65,000 dollars a year. It's time to get real and kick these bastards out of a job and I mean the Carr Government.


THE EGG: Why was it so hard for the authorities, who are supposed to Case Manage Prisoners, due for Parole and nearing the end of their additional term, at end of their sentence, to be Case Managed? Why was this man punished for asking to be helped, to integrate back into the community?

Wake up Parole Board and make some in roads into the culture of some prison guards, in senior positions, within your own department. By the way, nothing has changed in relation to additional terms and Parole. Those people who have been held back on purpose are wound up emotionally and tormented. Is it any wonder recidivism is so high in NSW?


Related:

At The Ministers Pleasure?
Most of these prisoners are held at the *Governors Pleasure* however, it's more like the *Ministers Pleasure* because the Health Minister holds the key and not the board of professional doctors whom even though recommend release the prisoner's remain locked away for political leverage.

Bronson Blessington speaks out
Hello my name is Bronson Blessington. I am writing this letter to you in the hope that you will be able to give me some assistance. I have been in prison now for 15 and 1/2 years. I was given a life sentence when I was 14 years old.

A review of psychiatry, law and politics in Victoria
If non-expert appraisals of 'normal behavior' can be condoned, it nonetheless has to be the case that the behavior under scrutiny takes place in a 'normal' environment, in which a human being can be expected to function normally.

PRISON 'THIS INDEFINITE IDEA'
My name is Steve and I'm at Palen Creek Prison Farm near Rathdowney in Queensland. I was the subject on an "Intelligence Report" written by a QLD prison officer in 1996.

20 Million for trial and no Legal Aid to appeal?
Why don't we want to know the truth? Because the government, police, lower-courts and the prison including the Prisoners Legal Service have decided what the truth is for us! Without getting to the end of the appeal process where the case has been professionally put before judges so they can impartially and objectively interpret the law.

Violent prisoners in anger-control trial?
Prisoners with a history of murder, sex attacks, bashings and stabbings are taking courses in anger management to control their *primal urge* to violence. But is there a *primal urge to violence* and if there is then where did it come from?

NSW Prisoner Hunger Strike: Ivan Milat day 28
Hello, I hope all is fine with you. Thank you for the letter dated 8th March, received today 12th, very inspiring. Forgive me for that incoherent eight pager I wrote out, what had occurred. I was three-four days into this protest, no eating any food.

HRMU: Harm-U for Hicks, Habib?
At the HRMU there are no minimum standard guidelines adhered to and security of the prison over-rules the prisoner's medical needs. Prisoners are self-harming because of the environment they are kept in already.

Today Paedophiles TOMORROW You!
This legislation came to the for during the campaign for the State election in March 2003, Carr announced a plan to introduce child sex offender orders in New South Wales, to restrict the movement of convicted paedophiles in places frequented by children.

Obituary: Garry Nye born 3/4/52 died 1/3/04
On July 24 1991, in a massive operation that traumatised his children and destroyed his house, NSW police arrested him for the murder of criminal Ray Thurgar, using a discredited informer's flimsy evidence.

Cheney's bid for review denied
Cheney asked the court to appoint a judge to review his case, claiming he had been "verballed" by police and "loaded up". But Justice Jeff Shaw said last week there was "no real evidence of police corruption and Cheney, who had a long criminal career, had been convicted on "powerful circumstantial evidence".[?]

MILAT WAS FRAMED FOR TOURISM $$$$$
The bodies of seven backpackers were discovered at the Belanglo Forest in 1992. The victims were German, British and Australian origin. Australia at the time of the discoveries was well advanced in its bid for the Olympic Games to be held here in year 2000.

NSW Prisoner Hunger Strike: Ivan Milat
It looks like Premier Carr's anti Milat Campaign is working well again, his application to the Judge in chambers to seek an order to be allowed to orally argue his appeal to the High Court was refused.




Justice Brian Sully subscribes to jail retribution



NSW Judge Justice Brian Sully said the message of the triple-0 tape for boys would be that "forced sex of any kind . . . is not a game or a prank or a practical joke, or part of becoming or being a man".

"The high odds are that you will be found out, tracked down and sent to jail . . .then you will be as much at risk from others as your victim was at risk from you."


Rape tape may be played in schools

"Justice Brian Sully, sentencing four brothers to a total of 70 years' jail for "worst case examples" of gang rape, lamented the "sad fact of contemporary life in Sydney that boys in their late teens are not infrequently serious and even violent sexual offenders".

[You mean like the 
Bulldogs Rugby League team? Or do you mean like kids learning about sex? Or did you mean like the young boy, who hanged himself awaiting guilt for the crime, he was alleged to have committed? Or did you mean when these rapist get raped themselves in your prison for payback? Or did you mean that that would be caused to happen when convicted of rape or some offence in a NSW Prison?

Duty of care?

The religious right have always had it that way they are not concerned with rehabilitation at all they are mostly concerned with 
retribution, pay back.

You won't see the Bulldogs rugby league team hauled in charged and refused bail for allegedly gang raping a 21 year old girl even though these men were adults who had to have known better.

The young woman and her friend have told police they met the players in Coffs Harbour on the evening after the Bulldogs played a trial match there and went back to the team's hotel with them. 

You can watch them play football though this weekend and cheer them on as heroes.

Hot on the heels of the Hunter Area probationary copper being granted police bail after being charged with a long list of serious sex offences against minors.

Justice Sully subscribes to the ex prison Minister Michael Yabsley view of jail retribution the utility of prison rape as a deterrent.]

Libs up the ante on jail reform

The Minister for Corrective Services, Richard Amery, attacked the policy as a return to the infamous hardline policies of the former Liberal minister Michael Yabsley, who set up the state's only private prison at Junee.

The pledges, contained in a document called Restoring Discipline and Order to the Prison System, propose the end of periodic detention for some first-time offenders, removing home detention as an option for those convicted of property crimes, and even banning "gang-style haircuts" in prison.

According to the Opposition Leader, John Brogden, the balance between the rights of prisoners and the rights of prison officers and the community has to be redressed.

"The pendulum has swung too far in favour of prisoners and we have to address serious community concerns about access to periodic detention, day release and prisoner behaviour in our prisons," he said

Gang-rape, police, disparity and the law..

The young woman and her friend have told police they met the players in Coffs Harbour on the evening after the Bulldogs played a trial match there and went back to the team's hotel with them.

Who let the dogs out? (woof, woof, woof, woof)

The Prime Minister has thrown his support behind the National Rugby League (NRL), saying the Bulldogs affair should not reflect on the game as a whole.

DPP must decide on next step in Volkers case by end of week! Rock Spider V's the Justice System?

Queensland's Attorney-General wants a report from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) by the end of the week on how it will respond to criticism about its handling of indecent dealing charges against swimming coach Scott Volkers.

Preventing Prisoner Rape

Here in Adelaide we have recently formed an organisation called Preventing Prisoner Rape which is aiming to raise awareness about the issue of rape in prisons, to try to bring in appropriate law reform and changes to prison administration, and also to reach out and support prison rape survivors.

Juvenile Justice in America: Rehabilitation or Retribution?

What do you think should happen to juvenile criminals who commit serious crimes? Do you believe in the possibility of rehabilitation for these youthful offenders? Or do you believe in retribution or the punishment of these young criminals in the adult justice system?

Punishment By Imprisonment Is A Medieval Concept 

- Fight or Fuck -

The following accounts of prison rape are taken from various human rights sites on the WWW that deal with this abuse, which seems to be in epidemic proportions in the US, Australia, and many other countries.

By Retribution 23 April 04

THE DOG: What about the swimming coach Scott Volkers who got let off and it goes on and on. One law for column "A" and another for column "B". Why is it that column B has to set the example? How did BILAL SKAFF's 55 years for gang rape prevent the alleged rape of a 21 year old girl by The Bulldogs rugby league team? Column "A" they have standing for corporate interests.


Left Prisons Minister John Hazistergos and Right Doctor ? Ron Woodham.

Prisoner: Ron Woodham my hand is broken! Woodham: No treatment required. Splints are banned at HARM-U [HRMU Goulburn] for the good order and security of the prison. Sorry! Next.

NSW Ombudsman
Letter dated 8 January 2004


"Corrections Health staff provide medical care. However, its staff's authority is essentially limited to making recommendations to corrective services on treatment. Corrective services staff can then decide what treatment can be given." 
[?]

Vince Blatch
Investigative Officer
For the Ombudsman


All we need now is Ron Woodham's Medical Practicing Certificate and medical qualifications?

Self-harm at the High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn is caused to prisoners held there because of cruel and unusual punishment, which includes the conditions they are being kept. Goulburn NSW is in an area whereby extreme conditions prevail. Extremely hot in summer and extremely cold in winter.

The history behind this complaint is due to the conditions. A prisoner slammed his hand in a steel door (self-harm) because he could not breathe and was suffering claustrophobia and dizzy spells. Initially the prisoner started banging his head on the wall through frustration at not being able to have medical practitioners intervene in the draconian and sub standard conditions the prisoner was kept in with little time out of the cell to recover. This prisoner has been held in solitary confinement for years but not as severe as the HRMU.

When he slammed his hand in the door both the nurse and the prisoner were stood over for security reasons by an officer of the Department of Corrective Services so that a splint would not be applied to his broken fingers. It is my understanding that all the fingers on one hand were broken and the nurse was attempting to place a splint on his hand and wrist. The outcome was a deformed hand.

Corrections Health Service
Letter dated 20 April 2004


I refer to your facsimile marked urgent for the attention of Dr Richard Matthews dated 8th April 2004 and addressed to the Minister for NSW Health.

I have identified the issues you remonstrate in your letter to the Minister for NSW Health as follows.

Complaint by inmate from the High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) Goulburn Correctional Centre.

Outcome sought by inmate from HRMU Goulburn not to his satisfaction

The process by which CHS, the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) and the NSW Ombudsman have investigated this inmateÕs complaint.

The outcome resulting from the HCCC and NSW Ombudsman's investigation into the complaint.

According to your letter the complainant claims that his hand is now deformed as a direct result of treatment having been prevented by an officer of the Department of Corrective Services. The complainant claims that the officer disallowed the application of a splint to extend the length of the injured hand.

In response to this inmate was provided by CHS in October 2003 after the complaint was referred to CHS by the HCCC under s26 of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993.

A second letter about the same was provided to the inmate in February 2004.

The outcome the inmate is seeking in terms of treatment has been provided. The inmate in question was referred to a surgeon in 1999 for treatment, which he declined.
He is currently on the waiting list for surgical consultation about this problem.

CHS can only comment on matters pertaining to health services and not security.

CHS cannot make comment on the organisational process by which the HCCC and the NSW Ombudsman assesses complaints. It is our duty however to provide them with the information and advice they are seeking and to follow instructions these organisations metre out.

CHS has no direct involvement with the assessment and investigation process of the HCCC and the NSW Ombudsman other than to provide advice and information.

In our letters of October 2003 and February 2004 to the complainant, CHS explains that the reason the inmate's hand remains flexed is due to the chronic condition of Dupuytrens Contracture.

The state of the fingers being flexed is due to an abnormality of the soft tissue in the palm, which causes the digits to flex inward. Had the inmate been issued with an extended splint the fingers would not have had free range of movement. Similarly had a plaster of Paris been applied this would mean that the hand would become rigid and thereby increasing the chance of a deformity. In this case, neither of the two above practices was applied, as the inmate's fingers remained free to rotate and were not constricted.

Your facsimile includes the Statutory Declaration made on 16th February 2004 for the HCCC regarding your representations of inmates from the HRMU concerning the matter of fresh air, natural light and solitary confinement. A response to the issue pertaining to CHS's role in the matter was mailed t you on 15th April 2004 after the HCCC requested CHS to respond to you directly. CHS has responded several times to the inmate and to other external advocacy groups.

Yours Sincerely
Julie Babineau
A/Chief Executive Officer.

Response from Justice Action


Julie Babineau
A/Chief Executive Officer
Corrections Health Service
VIA FACSIMILE: 9311-3005

Dear Ms. Babineau,

RE: Your letter dated 20th April 2004.


Thank you for your letter. Several issues are raised by your response to our complaint to the Minister for Health:

1) The authority of CHS staff in providing health care to HRMU prisoners.
2) A specific complaint from one HRMU prisoner.
3) The process of complaints investigation.
4) The issue of fresh air and sunlight.

1) The authority of CHS staff in providing health care to HRMU prisoners.


Your letter of 20 April makes very different allegations to your letter of 9 March. In that letter, you say,

"The Commissioner has ultimate responsibility for inmate welfare and for security. The Commissioner has the right to decide that security overrides all other issues but in doing so takes the responsibility for any adverse clinical outcomes where CHS advice has been overridden." Whereas in your letter of 20 April you imply that there was no interference with medical treatment by Corrective Services staff and that the prisoner was given appropriate medical treatment under the full authority of Corrections Health staff.

Let me be clear: the issue we wished to raise with you was the issue of authority to prescribe medical treatment and how that is negotiated with Corrective Services. Despite your statement above, it is unclear to what extent this responsibility can be enforced when disputes occur between CHS and DCS staff. If, as you say, the Commissioner takes responsibility for adverse clinical outcomes, how is this oversighted to ensure that the Commissioner justifies his decisions? What is the result if the Commissioner does not take responsibility for adverse outcomes?

2) A specific complaint from one HRMU prisoner.
The medical condition of one specific HRMU prisoner is a separate issue. In your letter of 20 April you state, "The outcome the inmate is seeking in terms of treatment has been provided. The inmate in question was referred to a surgeon in 1999 for treatment, which he declined. He is currently on the waiting list for surgical consultation about this problem."

First, how has the outcome been provided? Second, in a letter from this prisoner dated 5 March 2004 he states,

"It seems the Commissioner has turned my complaint about the HRMU management practice into a complaint I have about the medical treatment I receive from the CHS nurse staff here at HRMU. The assist-CEO of CHS said my deformed hand is a result of a medical condition I have developed called 'DUPUYTRENS CONTRACTURE' and said as I refused to allow surgery to correct it this is the result. Further the CEO (assistant) said a report will be sent to Commissioner Woodham detailing CHS reply.

It is correct I have that Dupuytrens Contracture (its common to operators of machinery) but it always was basically unnoticeable. I became aware of some bumps-lumps on both hands in 1999. A medical check revealed the condition, the doctor said no concern as its normal and won't cause any problems to well into the unforeseeable future, he said then, he can remove growth if I wanted it but it wasn't really necessary (after listening to the procedure I declined, mainly the time laid up concerned me)

Up till the 15 April 2003 I had normal hands, no problems at all, full use of them."

This information should be readily verifiable by consulting the prisoner's medical records. This account also would explain why, if he refused surgery in 1999, he would want it now.

3) The process of complaints investigation.
This issue was raised because of the quite astounding situation in which a complaint about CHS to the HCCC was referred back to CHS for investigation. You say that you cannot comment on this, but that it is your duty only to provide advice for the HCCC and Ombudsman's complaints assessment. I agree entirely. You were listed as a CC on the complaint to the Health Minister because we wished the Minister to assist us in finding the appropriate body to investigate our complaint. I find it shocking that anyone would think it appropriate for a government department to investigate itself.

4) The issue of fresh air and sunlight.
In your letter of 15 April 2004 you state, "The Environmental Health Officer (EHO) reports that air-conditioning and ventilation in the HRMU was installed to specification and that installation of tinted screens on the windows at the front of the unit was performed in March 2004 to reduce the temperature in the roof space. As all the correctional centre facilities are the property of DCS in which CHS is tenant, I recommend that you write to the DCS Facility Management Branch for further information."

Note that our complaint was about the lack of prisoners' access to fresh air and sunlight, which are provided for under UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Whose specifications were used in the installation of air-conditioning and ventilation? Regarding your referral of the matter back to DCS, I remind you that the reason these issues were raised is because we are receiving regular complaints from HRMU prisoners and their families which state that these prisoners are becoming severely mentally ill under the current conditions.

This issue relates back to the other issues:

1) The authority of CHS staff in providing health care to HRMU prisoners. Who takes responsibility for the mental health of HRMU prisoners? CHS or DCS?

2) A specific complaint from one HRMU prisoner. The act of slamming his own hand in his cell door, and also the act of slamming his head against his cell walls is, as we understand it, a result of mental harm done by the conditions in the HRMU. We assume that self harm, and therefore the need for medical treatment will continue in the case of this prisoner and others, until the cause of the mental illness is addressed.

Please provide us with your answers to these questions as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Justice Action Co-ordinator
April 28, 2004 CC: HCCC
The Hon. Morris Iemma, Minister for Health


By JusticeACTION 29 April 04


* Ombudsman's main power comes from publicity it generates and possibility of reporting to Parliament.

* According to author, they "exert considerable influence over administrative officials and may often persuade [one] to revoke or vary a decision". (p182).

* OM are not like other agencies for administrative justice in that they lack the power to quash or remake decisions. Sort of a "bridge between legal and moral notions of justice". P184).

* Courts can be reluctant to examine decisions made by prison officials during emergencies, even if they cause great hardship to prisoners (p186). So this is an area in which other agencies are needed.

* Om's jurisdiction is limited to 'matters of administration', which has been interpreted by courts to mean anything which is NOT a matter of policy.

* "...a single allegation by a prisoner that he or she was assaulted would not normally constitute a 'matter of administration'" (p187). This distinction poses a problem. [the Inspector General of Prisons jurisdiction was more precisely defined]

* Various reports by OM have definitely resulted in changes, sometimes hours after their release (see p 192)-ie it is apparently an effective remedy. [an investigation must be held before a report is written though, and not many cases are formally investigatedÉ]

* Alternative remedies prisoners can sometimes get include apologies, reconsideration of decisions or ex gratia payments in compensation. [Conciliation can be quite effective apparently, but just how effective is unknown due to the difficulty in finding documentation on informal measures].

* Prisoners have an unfettered right to correspond with OM in all states except Tasmania. (p195) and OM can visit prisoners (p196).

* "The only clear requirement to which all OM are subject is that investigations be conducted in private." (p196) [Presumably this is to avoid defamation etc]

* OM usually ask public body for an explanation of the decision or action in question upon receipt of a complaint. (p196).

* Conciliation helped a prisoner in SA who wasn't being allowed to see her partner (pp197-8)

* Govt depts "rarely welcome external review of any form" (p199).

* "Procedures adopted by OM have enabled them to establish and maintain a considerable amount of influence over admin, agencies." (p199).

* "Own Motion" investigations (ie ones not instigated by any particular complaint) should be used more often according to one Queensland review. Said the OM should be 'less reactive and less oriented to individual complaints, and become more proactive, systematic and preventative' (p201) [this would move the OM even further form the previous role of the Inspector General of prisons].

* If they had determinative powers they would be like "quasi small claims courts" (p201).

* Kerr Report said that "ordinary citizens [let alone prisoners] were placed at such a disadvantage when dealing with admin, officials and govt depts that an office with far more powers than are possessed by OM should be established." (p203).

* OM are able to establish dialogue between prisoners and prison officials according to the author (p204)

* "The informal and non-adversarial procedures used by OM are an important element of their apparent success." [one of the main arguments use against the Inspector General of Prisons was that it was too adversarial, got the dept's back up and so wasn't going to achieve change-perhaps it has some merit, but suggests to me that dept is simply rotten and unwilling to accept criticism].

A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management

By Mathew Groves posted 1 June 04

Related:

Vic database to track sex offenders' movements
Liberty Victoria vice president Jamie Gardiner has described the new database as flawed and dangerous. Mr Gardiner says the database punishes people for what they might do rather than what they have done.

Ngo loses High Court appeal bid
Phuong Ngo has lost a High Court special leave application to appeal his 2001 conviction for the murder of Cabramatta MP John Newman.

No Legal Aid? Milat loses conviction appeal!
Ivan Milat today, without any legal representation, which includes Legal Aid, lost an application in the High Court to appeal against his 1996 convictions.

ACTION BREAK THEATRE
Our theatre workshops for Script Development and Acting aim to enable Female ex-prisoners, Women at-risk of being caught up in the justice system, Survivors of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence, to dramatically craft their real-life stories for the stage, radio and video.

Govt moves to strip prisoners' voting rights
The Australian Council for Civil Liberties has condemned a Federal Government move to stop prisoners voting. Under current laws, prisoners serving less than five years can vote.

Hep C rife in Victorian jails
The study released by the Department of Justice, [? Department of Law, because there is no justice in prisons], revealed 57 per cent of prisoners had evidence of the hepatitis C infection, compared with one per cent of the general population.

AUSTRALIA: RIOT ACT READ AGAINST INSPECTION TEAM
The secrecy of the unit holding several people charged with terrorist offences, [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], here in Australia was confirmed during an attempted community inspection by a delegation from Justice Action. The delegation comprised four women and two men.

Sisters Inside: The power of standing on your own two feet
The old jail, overcrowded and dilapidated, had been simmering with barely contained tension for some time. Many of the 106 women were locked together; two to a cell, in the "bottom" section of the jail behind a gate that prison officers chose to keep shut, restricting the already minimal movement of prisoners and ensuring a tinderbox environment of festering pressures.

Govt stands by child sex offender program
SafeCare offers certain child sex offenders conditional confidentiality if they admit their crime, move out of the home and attend a two-year rehabilitation program run by the agency.

Australian Prisons Message of Solidarity: Greens
The Australian corrections system is appalling and rife with abuse of prisoner's rights. The spiralling numbers of those locked up, now over 23,000, is an indictment on a society which purports to be fair and democratic.

Rally for Inspection of Terror Unit, the HRMU
On Saturday, 15 May 2004 at 1p.m concerned citizens including families and friends will rally at the High Risk Management Unit, Goulburn Jail to demand entry and inspection of the unit where several people charged with terrorist offences, [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], are imprisoned.

Australia: 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. But before he feels confident in criticising prison practices elsewhere, Howard needs to know a few things about prison administration in his own country. Justice Action has exposed similar acts here in Australia, but have had no response from authorities.



The New South Wales Government has been accused of "ramming" through a bill designed to make it much tougher for people to get bail if they are accused of terrorism-related offences, [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East.]

The bill was rushed through in half a day and will be law by lunchtime.

The Government says it makes no apology for moving quickly to get the bill passed.

It was raced into the Parliament yesterday on the back of a Sydney court's decision to grant a man bail.

He had been charged under the Federal Government's new terrorist offences, 
[scapegoat.]

Under the bill, there will now be a presumption against bail for anyone charged with such an offence.

The changes were 
whisked through the lower house in a matter of minutes, but struck some opposition in the Upper House among the crossbench.

Greens MP Ian Cohen labelled the changes draconian and questioned their haste. "[They were passed at] a rate which doesn't allow for proper debate," he said.

Prisons Minister John Hatzsistergos has defended the bill, saying it does not mean the accused will never get bail, but will have to convince the court why they should.

By Just Us 4 June 04

Related:

Moroney moves to appeal Khazaal bail decision
The federal government created the draconian laws, based on their resource war's in the Middle East and numerous, call to arms, false flag operations around the world. Then the government fear-mongered the general public about it, by using their media power, and then the federal government came up with their own solutions, about how to fix the problems, they themselves have created, for their own reasons. Now we have reduced, oversight, standards at law and reduced rules of evidence etc. Now Moroney wants to take away bail which proves the obvious.

New laws to stop bail for scapegoats
The New South Wales Attorney-General has rushed new laws into State Parliament to make it difficult for people charged with terrorism offences, [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], to get bail.

What's the Rush? Non parole period for scapegoats
[Problem, Reaction, Solution. Firstly, the ASIO provocateur creates the problem, (approaches Jack Roche and asks...Can you take pictures of the Israel Embassy?) then (Roach thinks he's found a friend that also hates Israel) and then (ASIO set him up as the patsie), and then the Government gets a response from the corporate media and the general public about what to do about it. Then Ruddock finds the solution.]

Khazaal: A stitch in time saves nine?
Lakemba man Belal Khazaal, 34, was granted bail yesterday after appearing in Sydney's Central Local Court charged with activities related to terrorism. [Another Scapegoat for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East.]


Community: Daily Telegraph, you're out of "touch"



THE DAILY TELEGRAPH IS OUT OF 
TOUCH WITH JUDGES, MAGISTRATES AND THE COMMUNITY!

The Daily Telegraph is out of "touch" with Judges, Magistrates and the Community on every type of crime and penalties should be lessoned, an exclusive law and order survey for GKCNN has found.

This morning the Daily Telegraph has reported that, "judges and Magistrates are out of touch on every crime and penalties should be increased." 
Turn up for the books?

GKCNN readers continually complain about the false and misleading statements made by the Daily Telegraph in their endless pursuit of criminals for sensationalism i.e. selling newspapers.

But how low do the Daily Telegraph's reporters stoop? Well they paid a NSW prisoner $3,000 to go into the prison while doing weekend detention to take a picture of 
Renee Rivkin.

The person they asked to take the photo was found guilty of the charge and further punished while the reporter slipped out the back door.

Police failed to lay any charges against the Telegraphs reporter.

The Daily Telegraph sensationalise stories using spin and uncorroborated twists to make it look like, people who have committed crime should get more time, because they are monsters, just plain bad, and have bad genes, or are evil.

The 
GKCNN survey last month, which shed light on attitudes to crime in NSW by the media.

The Daily Telegraph surveyed the very worst out of all the other media outlets closely followed by the Un-Australian Newspaper, Ch/9, and Ch/10 who seriously weren't far behind.

The survey suggests that the Daily Telegraph should give up reporting about crime - because their stories were so distorted in relation to the evidence - and the facts - of any particular crime category.

In prison most prisoners reported being mistreated, freezing, starving and having no education or programs.

Some prisoners were kept in 
solitary confinement and abused for years- all because the Daily Telegraph reported and distorted the facts of a particular case.

Judges and Magistrates are entitled to make judgments and decisions about a particular case because they know more about them and have seen all the evidence including 
mitigating facts - to take into account - before sentencing.

The Daily Telegraph's reporters will race into court on the first day and get the evidence off the prosecutor and then turn up at the judgement hoping the person will be found guilty and report the judgement.

They're not interested in the mitigating facts, which led to the crime, they're interested in having the person flogged according to their religious right wing ideology. 
Spoon-fed capitalists.

The poll found an overwhelming majority felt the 
Daily Telegraph failed to tell the truth about crime and always demanded more after judges and magistrates sentenced people for making a mistake.

Particularly in sexual assault cases, where 74 per cent of those surveyed believed that the Telegraph had not met public expectations and failing to take into account the mitigating facts.

They believed the Daily Telegraph also failed in reporting the facts in drug traffickers (69 per cent), drug possession, (67 per cent) rape, (73 per cent) and murder (69 per cent).

The only result to come close to community approval was in manslaughter and fraud cases, where 24 per cent of respondents thought the Daily Telegraph handled those matters just plain bad....

When asked which statement best summed up the Daily Telegraph, 78 per cent stated they should lose their licence or get in 
TOUCH with the community while 8 per cent said it was fair.

A majority of respondents 
also said bad reporters shouldn't get the death penalty for causing crime, as in the Rene Rivkin case, even though the police failed to charge the reporter who caused him more stress,Mr Rivkin committed suicide.

However legal bodies said the results was not representative. Sentences were getting tougher and more people were in jail, they said.

Justice Action: NSW Corrective Services undermine prisoner contact

What they didn't say was, there was no social justice in prison for prisoners who have been denied their right to communicate, their right to legal assistance, their right to give instructions, and their right to waive their privacy in order to receive community support.

NSW prisoners have also lost their right to TOUCH.

The NSW Law Society's criminal law committee chair, Pauline Wright, said the belief that the judiciary was out of touch was an incorrect perception. "It may be that the public perception is that the courts are out of touch or that penalties are too light, 
but the reality is different.

Imprisonment rates are increasing and penalties are getting tougher, so I suspect the information that is available to the general public is not actually accurately reflecting what is going on in the courts," she said.

Ms Wright said one reason was that sentences, which attracted "media attention" generally, were the most dramatic and emotional, hence the public feeling those judges were out of touch. "They are actually quite well in touch, because they are faced with the worst part of society on a daily basis," Ms Wright said.

"Obviously judges are human and mistakes can be made but on the whole judges get it right most of the time."

Ms Wright said the fact that 93 per cent of respondents said gang rape sentences should be increased was out of step with reality, which was that gang rapists had received some of the heaviest sentences in the courts in recent times."

All accept the Bulldogs gang rapists who walked away without giving their names and in fact are being rewarded for gang rape in the community by being cheered on at football matches.

Police Commissioner Ken Moroney said: "Sometimes they get it right and sometimes the community and the media will express frustration."

An overwhelming majority of respondents believed penalties should be given out for bum reporting and tougher penalties for reporters who break the law to obtain stories and pictures, by enticing convicted criminals to break the law and ignoring others like the Bulldogs gang rapists.

The survey suggests penalties should be toughened for a majority of reporters for lying and twisting stories based on uncorroborated evidence.

By Fair Dinkum and Cindy Wanker 12 July 04

In Other Developments:

The Daily Telegraph is out of "Touch". What? An event for the campaign for community access to prisons. Why? Because secrecy breeds abuse. Where? Breakout Design + Print /Justice Action 65 Bellevue St. Glebe. When? 6:30 p.m. Friday July 16 2004 - Bastille Day weekend. Who? BANDS! Emma Donovan, Give my Love to Rose, The Scuttlers, Rebecca Moore, SEAN CHOOBURRA.



Parramatta Prison in 1983-84 'horrifying'


Events of what happened to me in Parramatta Men's Prison 1983-84 were horrifying. I was 22 years of age when six other girls and I were taken from Silverwater (Mullawa) training and detention Centre in Sydney NSW.

It happened when we were all woken up between 10pm and 3am and we were hand-cuffed and put into paddy wagons and moved to Parramatta Men's Prison.

We were all told nothing about the move. We weren't told why we were put into a men's prison. While we were there for seven months, we were all sexually abused by male prison officers (screws) continuously.

They would consistently come into our cells late at night and rape the women. At the same time they kept us in our cell and on drugs such as Valium, 15MC, Seripax, Lithium, just to name a few.

I'm Aboriginal. They did not touch me so they drugged me instead. It didn't work.

When meal times came, they were brought in hot. But when it was time they decided to feed us the meals were stone cold.

There is a river running down past the prison, and when it rose it burst the banks and sewerage would burst through the walls and we were made to sleep on the floor with one thin blanket or nothing.

In the mornings when the day shift came on, they would turn on the lights at 5am and wake us up twenty or so later.

There were sounds of boots as well as keys and then a loud banging of our doors. The sound of male voices saying to us "alright you sluts time to get out of bed" then a few seconds or so past and then they would open one of the cell doors not far from where I was. All I could hear was the loud murmur of "No Please". Then a few minutes past and then I could hear the slight movement of bedsprings and I knew.

What I did as they were drugging me and my meals was to get to know who was raping the women the night before by their footsteps as no one walks the same way and I coaxed them into my cell. Once close enough I'd grab them by the testicles. Be warned we are not here for you male prison officers pleasure. So if you do it again and I hear you, mark my words you "pricks" I'll get you. I have nothing to lose and you have everything to lose. So make up your mind you rapist. I'll do everything to see you never rape another female again.

There is never a day gone by when I don't think of what they did to us females while we were at Parramatta Men's Prison. And all I wanted then and still do to this day is to see justice served. As we were abused sexually, physically and mentally. We couldn't have a shower on our own without the male prison officers coming in masturbating, watching us taking our shower. Our dignity, humanity and our safety were all pushed out the window.

And it wasn't right even though it has been twenty one years since those days have passed. It is still freshly imbedded in my mind. And I regularly have flashbacks of the horror we went through.

Judge Barber in Sydney Supreme Court sentenced me to four and a half years prison for assault.

On Friday 20/7/1984, I was told to go to the reception desk. For what reason, I wasn't told and in there if you're told to do something you do it with no backchat. So I did what I was told and that was to strip off and get into the shower. When I came out, I had waiting for me a set of underclothing and a spotted black and white see through dress, no shoes.

This is I hope very helpful to you and all. What I would like to do now is see justice done.

Signed on Wednesday 5th day of March 2003 ant 4.10 pm. Debra Lee Craft.

By Debra Lee Craft posted 24 August 04

HREOC Seminar - Oppression in the US and abroad

Dr Dent will be speaking on social justice, women and prison. The Sex Discrimination Commissioner Ms Pru Goward and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Acting Race Discrimination Commissioner Mr Tom Calma will be chairing the seminar.

Related:

Magistrate's prison rape comments 'inappropriate'
Social Justice advocacy group Justice Action has condemned a magistrate's comments to a drug supplier from Hay, in New South Wales. Magistrate Alan Moore told the man that he would be raped in jail. He also told the man he would be given "hot injections of heroin" if he re-offended and was sent to prison.

Prisoner's right to vote attacked again!
Prisoner's right to vote attacked again! Tell Labor not to support the bill! On the eve of the election the, [war criminal], John Howard government has rushed a new law into the Parliament which will further remove the rights of prisoners to vote.

No Legal Aid to appeal worst case?
South Australian serial killers John Bunting and Robert Wagner have lost their bid to appeal against their multiple murder convictions over the infamous 'bodies-in-the-barrels' murders because as serious as this case is they were denied a proper defence to appeal because they were not granted Legal Aid.

NSW prison visitors banned from using the toilet
The New South Wales Government has introduced several initiatives to allegedly 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.

NSW Legislative Council's Inquiry on Home Detention
Submissions closed last Friday 30 July for the Legislative Council's Inquiry into Back-end Home Detention. Justice Action's submissions Justice Action opposes the use of home detention, whether front-end or back-end, as a sentencing option in our criminal justice system, [criminal law system.]

Writing to a prisoner
Writing to prisoners should be encouraged because communication is a two way street, and this gives people 'outside prison' important 'access' into prison life, often the only chance of expression for prisoners.

Toe-by-Toe: Award winning literacy program
I came across an Award winning literacy program in the UK on a recent trip, where literate prisoners teach illiterate prisoners how to read.

Bronson Blessington: PETITION
To Her Excellency the Honourable Marie Bashir, AC, Governor of New South Wales. WHEREAS, under the Royal prerogative of mercy Your Excellency has discretion to grant a pardon to a convicted offender.


Prison guards test positive for drugs


FIVE New South Wales prison guards have tested positive for drug use, including ecstasy and cannabis, in the past three weeks. 
NSW Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham has also unveiled tougher screening for prison guards to clean up the service and stop corrupt guards selling drugs and phones to prisoners.
[No responsibility under my watch?] 

The announcement coincided with the release of an Independent Commission Against Corruption report from its investigation into former prison guard Shayne Hughes.

Hughes was jailed for 10 months last December for smuggling cannabis, steroids, cocaine, a number of mobile phones and a Game Boy to an inmate, [prisoner], in exchange for $5000 at the Silverwater remand centre in western Sydney.

Responding to tip-offs from Hughes and other officers, Woodham said 22 other prison guards had been urine tested in the past three weeks. 
Eleven guards were cleared but a cloud is hanging over the remaining 11 with five of them returning positive results for drug use, mainly for ecstasy but also including cannabis and steroids.

Two guards refused to be tested and have been suspended while four are still awaiting test results.

Woodham said another 50 were expected to be tested in the coming weeks. Other measures include the installation of two state-of-the-art metal detectors that trap an officer in a cubicle until the guard is cleared of metal detection.

The walk-through metal detector, currently being trialled at the Supermax facility at Goulburn, can be calibrated to detect something as small as a mobile phone SIM card.

Random urine testing and personal searches, using drug detection dogs, will also will begin on December 7. "There has been some indicators around for a while that we are looking in the wrong area and should be looking at our own staff and not visitors," Woodham said.

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.

By Starsky and Hutch 3 September 04

Related:

Lecture For the Solidarity Anarchist Conference

But it was too late as society picked up on the idea and mutated it beyond recognition complete with tax subsidies and massive propaganda. Today, as in the 1800's, isolation blocks make up the primary means of confinement and they are commonly called Control Units. The guards which work in these units are some of the most brutal and inhumane. The newer units have solid doors and the only contact that one confined behind it has is through a small window for counting purposes and a food slot.


Psychologists, 'Woodham's attraction'


                                QUACK!

A FEMALE prison psychologist is under police investigation after allegedly trying to start a sexual relationship with a prisoner in New South Wales' most secure gulag.

The woman, in her 30s, tried to get a "lengthy letter" to the prisoner, who is serving a 15-year sentence in Goulburn's maximum security Super Max prison.

Allegedly she professed her "deep love" for him in the letter and made explicit references about where she wanted their relationship to go according to Rotten Ron Woodham?

Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham said prison guards were alerted to the woman's behaviour after "intelligence suggested possible inappropriate dealings between the inmate, 
[prisoner], and psychologist".

The woman was intercepted by police and prison guards when she started work at the Goulburn jail?

She felt sorry for him?

Rotten Ron Woodham claims the prisoners brother was going to also give the woman a mobile phone so she could receive phone calls from the prisoner.

Prison officials were told the phone was the brother's but calls were diverted to the woman's phone, a serious breach of prison guidelines. "The psychologist has been suspended and her personal computer handed to police for analysis," Rotten Ron Woodham said.

"The prisoner has been searched and segregated from other prisoners. [As with what is normal practice at the HRMU]. We are confident security hasn't been compromised."

It is believed the inmate, 
[prisoner], never got the letter as with what is normal practice at the HRMU.

The inmate, 
[prisoner in solitary confinement], 32, was sentenced to 15 years'jail in 1995 for a gun-related crime.

By Just Us 10 September 04

Related:

RE: URGENT - Prisoner enrolment to vote!
Justice Action has been talking to the Australian Electoral Commission over the past three weeks about what steps were being taken to ensure that prisoners were given the opportunity to enrol to vote in the Australian Election on October 9.

Restorative Justice Conferences
Two Restorative Justice-related conferences will be held days apart in February and March 2005, in Australia. The first conference, entitled "Empirical Findings and Theory Developments in Restorative Justice: Where Are We Now?", will be held February 23-25, 2005, at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.


Juvenile 'Affection With Girlfriend' In Prison!


                 TEDDY WANTS A HUG

Well aren't we having fun making fun of people getting on with their life.... The fact that a prisoner's privacy could be exploited by prison officials to kiss and cuddle his girlfriend in a maximum-security jail proved that there is no privacy for this couple to socialise, fondle and generally show affection to each other in prison, without it being publicised by authorities. 

For what? For NSW Liberal and opposition leader John Brogden's political career?

Brogden another Neo-Liberal scumbag released official documents which proved he said an "inappropriate sexual act" took place between the offender, 
[prisoner], known as MMK, and his girlfriend while she was visiting him at the Kariong Juvenile Justice Centre in May this year.

How do you know? Were you watching? Sorry but did you have the right to their privacy? And why weren't this couple given somewhere to be private together without you! Y
ou peeping tom... Brogden!

Do you look at people on the toilet? Do you allow people to watch you having a shower? Are you a peeping tom? Do you regard anything as private?

BROGDEN: "This offender, [prisoner], is a ... convicted gang rapist who has been sent to jail for a minimum of 13 years to a maximum of 22 years, for taking part in July 2002 with two others in the gang rape of a 16 and a 17-year-old girl," he said.

"This sort of grubby individual gets to get his sexual pleasures courtesy of his girlfriend. Where? In a juvenile justice, 
[? prison], centre in NSW.

But where would you have preferred him to get his sexual pleasures, courtesy of your girlfriend? Or should I say boyfriend?

BROGDEN: "In short, the prisoners are running the juvenile justice centres in NSW."

SORRY! BUT THAT'S FAR TOO SHORTSIGHTED JOHN AND IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE RUNNING THE JUVENILE JUSTICE CENTRES IN NSW DOESN'T IT?

Well excuse me! But this prisoner is a person who has been sent to jail for a minimum of 13 years to a maximum of 22 years, for breaking the law in July 2002 with 'who' doesn't really matter.

At least they are not like the 'BULLDOGS GANG RAPISTS WHO WERE NOT NAMED IN PUBLIC EVEN THOUGH A GIRL CLAIMED THAT SHE HAD BEEN GANG RAPED AND NOW EVERYONE IN THE COMMUNITY IS VULNERABLE OF A FURTHER RISK OF ATTACK BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW WHO THE OFFENDERS WERE!

But there was no 'corporate or political points' to argue that was there John? I bet you turned up at the next Bulldogs match to find out who was next to be gang banged so you could join in?

SCUMBAG Brogden said rules required visitors who engage in sexual activity with inmates, 
[prisoners], be banned from visiting again.

"We understand that the girl who took part in this sexual act is now back visiting her boyfriend at Kariong," he said.

Kariong was the State's only maximum-security juvenile facility, and housed the "worst of the worst" offenders, he said.

Give me a break!

LET ME GIVE YOU A FURTHER UNDERSTANDING JOHN, YOU DUNCE. DON'T SPEAK ABOUT CONDITIONS IN PRISON, WHICH, INCLUDE NO PRIVACY WHEN YOU YOURSELF DO NOT HAVE TO BE TREATED LIKE YOU HAVEN'T GOT A PRIVATE LIFE!

THESE CONSENTING HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT UNLIKE ANY OTHER.

IMAGINE LIVING IN A WORLD WITHOUT PRIVACY, SEX, CHILDREN, PETS AND THE OPPOSITE SEX?

WHAT RIGHT DOES JOHN BROGDEN HAVE TO PUBLISH SECURITY VIDEO AND THE PRIVATE MOMENTS OF JUVENILES? IN FACT IN MY OPINION HE HAS BREACHED THE PRIVACY ACT! AND SHOULD BE CHARGED AND SENT TO PRISON OR FINED.... FOR BREAKING THE LAW.

PS) I know some redneck will argue that this person has committed a serious crime but this person has been sent to prison for punishment that is the full extent of the punishment in terms of the offence of rape. 


- Not sent to prison to be punished without having any regard for human dignity or privacy whilst serving the sentence. In the next State election you need to vote as well and here are some tips.


By Just Us 17 September 04


Child sex offenders to be monitored in NSW



New South Wales Police Minister John Watkins says convicted child sex offenders in south-western Sydney will be monitored during a six-month trial.

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties says it is concerned that the monitoring could become a system of harassment.

The vice president of the council, David Burnie, says there is a danger that intensive monitoring could hinder attempts by offenders to reform their behaviour.

"That is the real danger, that the system just becomes a system of harassment," he said.

"That'd be our concern that after a period of time it may just degenerate into a period of harassment rather than actually a system of assessment."

Watkins says a Child Protection Watch Team will track convicted sexual predators living in the community.

He says police, corrective services officers, health professionals, and housing department workers will be on the team. He has told State Parliament that the group will review offenders' criminal histories and behaviour and make risk-assessments. Watkins says the team will take steps to protect children who are perceived to be at risk.

"They will provide an early warning system for inappropriate actions or associations or living arrangements and they will take proactive measures to prevent these criminals from re-offending," he said. "They'll ensure police are ready to pounce if the danger does increase."

In Other Developments:

Crime facts INFO: Australian Institute of Criminology 13 April 2004

A report titled Recidivism of sexual assault offenders rates, risk factors and treatment efficacy provides an overview of Australian and international research on sexual, violence and general recidivism among sex offenders.

Despite the assumption that sexual offenders are particularly prone to reoffend, reconviction rates for sex crimes are relatively low. 

Sexual offenders are similar to the general offender population in terms of their criminal histories and their sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics the report says.

"They are versatile offenders, with a large proportion having convictions for violent and 'other' offences, such as drugs or property crimes.

At the same time, they may specialise in particular types of sexual offences within their general criminal careers.

The risk of recidivism varies for different types of sex offenders, with rapists tending to be more criminally versatile than child molesters.

A retrospective study of 629 persons aged 16 years and over, who were apprehended by Victoria police on suspicion of sexual assault of adults pointed to a considerable degree of recidivistic activity between 1993 and 2001. A substantial number had been previously apprehended for violent (n=222) -and other-offences (n=348)."

" The number of sexual offences per individual was lower than for the other crime categories."

By Monitor 23 September 04

ED: Most child molesters come from families by focusing on people outside the families the children affected are less likely to believed when they say it was for instance 'my uncle Bill'.

WHY WE SHOULD OPPOSE HOME DETENTION
Surveillance is done with an electronic bracelet, which is attached to you for the length of your sentence and tracked through your phone back to central control. If you go outside the house without permission, it registers an escape. You must stay at home 24 hours a day unless you get permission to eg. work, do community hours, education. You receive phone calls at home throughout the day and night to monitor you.  
  

Related Sex Offender Links:

NSW: Rapists more criminally versatile than Paedophiles
Parents to be given paedophile details? But rapists are more criminally versatile than Paedophiles! So who let the dogs out? Police Minister John Watkins! That's who.

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).

Vic database to track sex offenders' movements
The Sex Offenders Registration Bill is due to be tabled in Parliament later this week. Sex offenders will have to tell police if they change their names, address or work and will not be allowed to work with children.

Today Sex offenders TOMMORROW YOU!
To suggest there is a need to restrict their movement is rubbish! This is a grab for civil liberties in NSW and it offends everyone else who is free to associate because soon it could be you who is restricted or someone you know.

Gang-rape, police, disparity and the law..
The young woman and her friend have told police they met the players in Coffs Harbour on the evening after the Bulldogs played a trial match there and went back to the team's hotel with them.

Govt stands by child sex offender program
The Western Australian Government is standing by a taxpayer-funded agency that offers conditional confidentiality to child sex offenders.

Therapy key for teen sex offenders
US: One girl allegedly was raped in the boys' bathroom at Folsom High School on a warm midday in March. Another told officials the same boy, a freshman at the school, had tried to rape her days earlier in a girls' bathroom. Two other girls told investigators the boy had committed lesser sex crimes against them at school within the previous week. If true, such a pattern of escalation is worrisome, according to experts who study and treat sex offenders.

Sexual Abuse: Testimony
I'm Debbie Ingraham, and I'm an activist for Restorative Justice. I'm also a former litigant who filed an unsuccessful civil suit against a family member for incest, and a former victim advocate. I bring a 30 year personal perspective of "real life" experiences that come from living with the effects of sexual abuse.

Related Surveillance Links

Xerox workers to strike over satellite tracking plan
Over 250 Xerox workers will go on strike this morning over plans to use global positioning system technology (GPS) to track them throughout their day. Australian Services Union president Sally McManus says the proposal affects workers who repair Xerox photocopiers and other equipment in offices around Melbourne and Sydney.

Putting Your Finger on the Line: Biometric Identification Technology The NSW Department of Corrective Services has progressively been implementing biometric identification technology (BIT) for use on all entrants into maximum security prisons since August 1996. It currently operates in seven prisons in NSW and is scheduled for introduction at Parklea prison later this year. BIT has raised the ire of many community agencies, the legal fraternity and government authorities. Framed examines what the controversy is all about and what the implications of this technology are.



REPORT: NSW Department of Corrective Services 2004-05



BUDGET, ASSETS? AND PRISONER STATE: In 2004-05 financial year, the total expenses of Department of Corrective Services Totalled $705.3 million.


The Hon John Hatzistergos: Yes, the Budget papers necessarily focus on financial matters. It is not very easy merely from reading the Budget papers to grasp the range of activities of a large government department such as Department of Corrective Services.

The budget papers state that in 2004-05 financial year, the total expenses of Department of Corrective Services totalled $705.3 million and that in addition, the department will make asset acquisitions of $104.5 million. But how does all this money translate into services provided every day of the year by Department of Corrective Services?

The Department manages offenders in 20 correctional centres. 11 periodic detention centres and two transitional centres. It also manages offenders held in police and court cells pending trial. On Sunday, 29 of August 2004 there were 8,568 inmates, [prisoners], in full time custody and 38 inmates, [prisoners], held in transitional centres.

Moreover in the seven days ending 29 August 2004 631 periodic detainees attended periodic detention. There were 46 held in police cells and court cells administered by the department. Each inmate, 
[prisoner], held by the department must be fed and clothed and provided with a bed.

Beyond the provision of these basic necessities, the department must ensure that if an inmate, 
[prisoner], is to appear in court that day, the inmate, [prisoner], is safely driven to the court on time. The department must also ensure that families of inmates, [prisoners], are allowed to visit inmates, [prisoners], in a controlled and secure environment.

Each inmate, 
[prisoner], is classified according to his or her security rating and is placed, so far as possible in a correctional centre close to his or her family. Vulnerable inmate, [prisoner], must be placed on protection and inmates, [prisoners], who are a threat to others must be separated from the mainstream. The department develops a case plan for each inmate,[prisoner.]

To fulfil the case plan, the inmate, 
[prisoner], will be required, in most cases to undertake educational, developmental and rehabilitative programs. The overall aim of the department in requiring inmates, [prisoners], to participate in programs is to reduce the risk that inmates, [prisoners], will re-offend after release.

Two new facilities have been opened recently. the new 500 bed mid North Coast correctional centre at Kempsey, and the new 200-bed women's facility at Dillwynia. Some 20.9 million has been allocated in the 2004-05 state budget for the 500 bed multi-classification centre for male and female inmates, 
[prisoners], at Wellington, with an estimated total cost of $125.5 million.

Preliminary work is under way and when completed the Wellington Centre will employ 200 staff and inject $10 million into salaries and about $4million into operational costs into the local economy.

The number of parolees registering with the Probation and Parole Service has increased from 2,145 in the six month period from January to June 2003 to 2,729 in the six month period from January to June 2004 I hope these details will give you some insight into the varied and vast work that the Department of Corrective Services undertakes and this insight sheds some light on the real value of budget figures. I thank you for the opportunity of making these introductory remarks.

By Just Us 18 October 04

Related:

Gaol as Community Housing?
A Forum on Intellectual Disability and Criminal Justice, [? Criminal Law.]


REPORT 2: NSW Department of Corrective Services 2004-05



Gender, Bullying and Harassment: Why do women leave the department five times the rate of male employees?

The Honourable Melinda Pavey: I am damned by faint praise. Minister on a more serious issue, why do women leave the department at a rate approximately five times the rate of male employees as evidenced by the last annual report for 2002-2003 with more than half the 491 staff departures being women?

The Honourable Charlie Lynn: Is bullying one of the issues?

The Honourable Melinda Pavey: Is bullying, and harassment one of the issues within the Department of Corrective Services?

Mr Woodham: That could be the case.

The Honourable Melinda Pavey: What action have you taken against the Acting Deputy Governor of Parramatta Correctional Centre for multiple allegations of bullying of female staff including Ms Cassandra Gavin whose case was ignored by the department and the union but whose case was upheld by WorkCover who issued a notice to improve on bullying

The Hon John Hatzistergos: These are the sorts of questions that John Ryan was a specialist in providing and no doubt they have come from this sort of source. We have processes in the department, which allow the investigation of complaints of this nature.

We take them fairly seriously and these matters are dealt with appropriately. This is not the appropriate venue to deal with appropriately. This is not the appropriate venue for these sort of issues to be ventilated concerning individuals, besmirching names. It is a case I am not aware of. From time to time I get briefings or cases of some notoriety.

The commissioner is not aware of it either. If you want to talk about general issues we are quite happy to do so. But you said 491 employees and you are alleging that one person has been subject to bullying and harassment and I do not know whether she has left the department or not. I think it is inappropriate to use this estimates hearing to ventilate cases concerning individuals.

The Hon Melinda Pavey: How many cases of sexual harassment and bullying have you had lodged with the Department of Corrective Services in the past year?

Mr Woodham: I cannot tell you exactly. But there have been some and they have been managed. Mr McLean the Senior Assistant Commissioner can tell you about the one you have raised. It has been dealt with.

Mr McLean: The matter you have been talking about at Parramatta was dealt with properly in the grievance procedure. It was dealt with by the commander Dave Farrell. The complainant at the time was not satisfied with him and asked through the appeal process to be seen by me, which we did. I was satisfied that the procedures had been dealt with in the proper manner.

By Just Us posted 21 October 04


REPORT 3: NSW Department of Corrective Services 2004-05



Recidivism: The Hon Peter Breen: Is it the case that New South Wales has the highest prisoner recidivism in Australia? 6 Month sentences: The Hon Peter Breen: Do you agree with abolishing short-term sentences?
The Hon Peter Breen: Minister in you opening statement you make comment about certain measures that are in place to reduce the risk of inmates will re-offend after release. Is it the case that New South Wales has the highest prisoner recidivism in Australia?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: There is a number of things to say to you. Mr Breen the first is that you talk about recidivism rates -- and you are only discussing prisoners, you are talking about people in the community corrections -- the Productivity Commission makes it perfectly plain that the figures are not comparable. The reason that they are not comparable is that we are the only jurisdiction, which has a Drug Court.

The Drug Court uses the correctional system, as you would be aware to punish individuals who transgress its orders. And you know what the nature of recidivism is like amongst drug offenders. 

They go in and out according to various violations Drug Court orders, and each one of those registers as a statistic. The issue is that no other state has that. We do and that is what inflates the figures in New South Wales compared to other jurisdictions?

In any event, as the Auditor General and the Productivity Commission has made clear recidivism is not a measure of success soley of this correctional system, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it does not take into account the profiles of the offenders in custody. In New South Wales we have more of everything?, than other states, more people who are drug affected and subject to a mental illness. In some cases, with dual diagnosis and a lot more serious and violent offenders in custody? So the profile is not taken into account in the other states. The other factor that is quite significant in terms of recidivism is concerned is the nature of policing.

Many of those offenders are people who have underlying health issues. They may have come into custody due to a property offence but have underlying drug habits which cannot be dealt with by the correction system in six months. This has been identified in the Legislative Council committee report in the increase of prisoner population, where there was a suggestion that we take a look at abolishing sentences of under six months because they are not effective.

Andrew Humpherson said the same thing after his dissertation after his 42-day overseas trip. He came back and said that he did not believe that six month sentences should exist. You can say that there is a view around the place that short term sentences should not exist and therefore, those people who get those sentences and might re-offend because of their underlying health issues are not the product of the correctional system?

The Hon Peter Breen: Do you agree with abolishing short-term sentences?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: My job is to administer the orders set down by the courts and to administer them properly. The issue in relation to short term sentences is a matter before the Sentencing Council They are formulating all of the views and will come to a view and the government will consider it in due course. What I get irritated about is not so much the short term sentences. I can accept the fact that someone is punished for committing an offence and therefore ought to go to prison and may get a short term sentence. If it's the view around that these people should be punished and put into custody then that is fine. You are punishing them.

But if you take the view that sentences should be not just about punishment but about rehabilitation, I have to agree with the views of the Opposition, it is that a short term sentence is ineffective in achieving that outcome. I will do whatever the courts tell me. If the courts say send the person to gaol for six months we will do that until we do our best for the offender But realistically, I agree with what the Opposition has put forward from the 42 day overseas study tour and also John Ryan's report on the Select Committee on the increase in Prisoner Population and there are limits as to what the correctional system can do.

The Hon John Tingle: Minister, there has been discussion about the increase in prisoner population. It appears from the Budget papers that there has been a net increase of something in excess of 70% between 1990-91 and now. I know it might be outside your portfolio. Has any study been done or consideration been given as to the main cause of this increase? Is more crime being committed or more offenders being caught? Or is it the courts imposing more custodial sentences? If the trend increases of such magnitude in the prison population, could we see a time when the Justice budget starts to catch up with budgets such as Education, Health and Police? Is Corrective Services a growth industry?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: I Can only look at the information that has been captured by organizations like the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. You will recall in more recent studies by Dr Weatherburn, the first factors he identified were, first, longer sentences and second the government policy on repeat offenders and the bail laws They have impacted and in particularly the latter one in recent times has impacted substantially. To give you an idea, when I became the minister in April last year, the prisoner population was 8,100. It has gone up 600 in just over a year. We are planning 10,000 places in custody in the next two years.

The Hon John Tingle: If we have a crime blow-out we cannot contain a cost blow-out in Corrective Services.

The Hon John Hatzistergos: We are looking at ways at increasing our effectiveness and efficiencies in the department. We outlined that to the estimates committee last year. In The Way Forward proposal, which we have not actually implemented except in two correctional centres, that is Dilwynnia and Kempsey, where the union has agreed -- in discussions. I might add that Mr Campbell participated in and was quite usefu--to a staffing arrangement, which allowed us to run those as publicly operated facilities.

We are continuing on with our construction program. We will open Wellington Correctional Centre before the next election and also in this budget we are committed to establishing second chance centres along the lines of the Brewarrinna Correctional Centre on the North Coast of New South Wales for 50 mainly Aboriginal inmates.

Mr Woodham: And 30 women

The Hon John Hatzistergos: We will also take some steps to establish a transitional centre for men. It is all in the Budget papers Either way, I have just been told that the 10,000 estimate was for 2008. I just want to clarify one thing, Mr Tingle, about the situation of facilities. We are not going to go down the track of the previous government went down, it was just a disaster. It introduced truth in sentencing which increased the length of the sentences that inmates were getting and they did not have the appropriate facilities. There was a three pronged strategy by the Government of the day between 1985 and 1995 to deal with the blow-out of numbers, which came into custody

The first strategy was to run around telling the judge to send pore people into periodic detention than into full time custody. That is what Michael Yabsley did The second was to downgrade security classification from maximum to medium and minimum to get people out because he did not have enough maximum security facilities. The third thing was to get the premier of the day to re-open Kattingal. The fourth was to go and look for shipping containers where he could put inmates. These are not strategies, which we regard as appropriate.

The Hon Malinda Pavey: You missed one - private gaols.

The Hon John Hatzistergos: They built only one private facility and that was at Junee, which is a story in itself. Of course, the closed Parramatta around the same time as they opened Junee. We are not going down that track. We want to ensure that we have adequate facilities to be able to cope with whatever changes to government policy occu--and I am talking about Judicial policies as much as anything els--that may lead more people to come into custody

The Hon John Tingle: How may additional field staff have been employed to provide supervision and programs for offenders in the community or court based parole? I know there was an increase in funding.

The Hon John Hatzistergos: I have to take that question on notice. I have a figure in my mind but I don't want to quote it in case it is wrong. These are the people who in previous years were not supervised

The Hon John Tingle: You appear to need additional staff to supervise.

The Hon John Hatzistergos: We needed additional probation officers.

Mr Schipp: An extra 80 staff were employed last year and another 12 have been employed this year. The additional funding for the parolees under community service orders was $500,000 last year and an additional 10 supervising staff. Were employed. The budget increased to $1.5 million this year and an additional 20 officers coming on line.

The Hon John Tingle: What amount has been allocated for halfway houses, for parolees and where will they be established?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: We do not run halfway houses, we find them.

The Hon John Tingle: Is that the responsibility of the Department of Corrective Services?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: We have a funding programme that allows to fund halfway houses and the funding is included in the annual report.

The Hon John Tingle: How much is being allocated? Is the money available to do it? 

The Hon John Hatzistergos: Organizations may apply for funding from the department, which has a grants program. We fund those organizations through a competitive process but we do not run halfway houses

The Hon John Tingle: Has any funding been budgeted for special programs to reintegrate prisoners into society?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: The Department does many things to help inmates to help inmates integrate back into the community. It is one of the most troubling aspects that I have had to confront as Minister. We must all be realistic. People who have been in custody for a long period come out into a different world. We hear all sorts of stories about what happens when they come out. Some of the shocking stories that I have heard have not been reported. I am talking about people on day release after having been in custody for a long time and are taken to shopping centres and collapse because of the lights and technology which they have never seen. The ask the custodial officers to take them back to the correctional centres. Some parolees are encouraged to and apply for and are granted parole but reoffend because they cannot cope in the community.

This is a difficult issue. It is more difficult for people who have been in custody for a long time. That is one of the reasons for the establishment of transitional centres in Parramatta and Bulwarra at Emu Plains. The Parramatta centre has been particularly good for women. As they approach their parole date they can integrate back into the community by accessing the service but still be at a correctional centre. The latest recidivism figures I have seen indicate that the rate is about 4 percent, which is very low. However, the staff have told me that some women who have moved to the centre have requested that they be returned to the correctional system.

The Hon John Tingle: Can they go back?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: We have had to take them back because they could not cope. Other women have had to be strongly encouraged to go into the program. Life in a correctional environment is very structured. Inmates do not have to make decisions for themselves. Their work meals and bedtime are organised for them. They do not face budgeting problems and their visitors come to them. Many inmates in longterm custody can accept institutionalisation and breaking that down is a challenge. Parole and supervision are important because we can provide guidance people leave the system. Those who argue that we should abolish parole and churn people straight into the community at the end of their sentence are committing them to return to the system. The recidivism would explode.

The Hon John Tingle: Is it because it is too abrupt?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: Yes. They have no accommodation or work organised. Some do not know how to operate automatic teller machines and other new technology. They do not know how to write job applications. We must prepare them for release. Parole staff work intensively with inmates before they reach the parole stage. Not all these approaches work for everyone but we must try where we can.

By Just Us posted 22 October 04


REPORT 4: NSW Department of Corrective Services 2004-05


Strip Searches, Full cavity searches, Phone Jamming, Compensation Payments, Workers Compensation Payouts, Accommodation, and Visitors using the toilet.
 

The Hon John Hatzistergos: Members must realise that it would be impossible to conduct full cavity searches on every gaol visitor as has been suggested by the opposition. That is what would be required to ensure absolute security. One of the officers found trafficking contraband had it stuck in his groin. These are not easy issues and that is why I have proposed a trial of jamming equipment at the Lithgow Correctional Centre In response to my proposals Andrew Humpherson was reported in the Lithgow Mercury as follows

The government's proposal to jam mobile phone technology is flawed on many fronts. All mobile phones used within a four kilometre radius from the jamming device could be jammed

Legislation passed in New south Wales makes it a criminal offence for an inmate to possess a mobile phone. But it has been hamstrung by Federal Government obstruction. The shadow minister should share his insights about California with his Federal colleagues.

Legislation passed in New South Wales makes it a criminal offence for an inmate to possess a mobile phone. The State Government's tough new laws provide that any inmate found with a mobile phone, or any part of a mobile phone, a SIM card or a charger for a mobile phone can have his or her sentence increased to up to two years. They also lose various privileges and have their classification reviewed. We are also seeing some benefits from that legislation. Three inmates have been charged and two have been convicted. The first inmate was sentenced to a further 12 months in prison with a 8-month non-parole period. He was about to be released when he was found with a mobile phone. On 18 August the second inmate's sentence was increased by four months.

I reiterate that the difficulty in detecting mobile phones is exacerbated by increasingly small parts such as SIM cards and indeed the decreasing size of mobile phones themselves. To make matters worse, because mobile phones and SIM cards can be separated a single unit can be used by several inmates with several different SIM cards. Methos of concealment vary, but a number of inmates have hidden mobile phones in their rectums. The most disturbing aspect of this situation is the Commonwealth Government's failure to work with the State Government. I will spend time dealing with the key dates.

The Hon Melinda Pavey: I Want the answer to the question: how much was spent in compensation payments to inmates in 2003-04

The Hon John Hatzistergos: The payments that were made, I understand, were around 700,000. They were for claims made from 1994 when the Coalition was in government, until the present time. I think the payments are a substantial decrease on what was paid last year. I should indicate that they were paid out of the insurance. Our insurance is about $6.7 million. We paid a premium of $6.7 million and there was a payout of $700,000 down from $1.7million last year.

The Hon John Hatzistergos: There is another interesting figure that I want to share with you, because you want in-depth answers. That is the figure in relation to workers compensation claims. You would be interested in this. In the last year the Coalition was in office, the workers compensation figures for the Department were in the order of $11 million. This year the department's workers compensation figures have gone down to about $3million. Just about every year we have been in office, the figure has been declining. It declined again last year as compared to previous years. I am glad you are happy with that.

The Hon Charlie Lynn: Minister, there was a promise or a commitment made in February 2003 in regard to the question of 100 jobs being transferred to Goulburn It does not seem that any action has been taken on that to date.

The Hon John Hatzistergos: The situation is that there is money in the Budget for that. What there is not money in the Budget - and I am going to be quite clear on this- to build a building. The Government has made it quite clear that we need to provide appropriate accommodation.

We cannot put people in tents. We need to find appropriate office space that will enable that to occur. I have discussed this matter with the department itself, and apart from that we will look at what is available in Goulburn

The Hon John Tingle: Absolutely astonishing You have touched on this area in your discussion on mobile phones and so on, but what rate of success do you have in discovering contraband through strip-searches of prisoners? Do you have any way of knowing if you are getting most of it?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: Prisoners are strip searched in maximum and medium security and after visits, and also randomly. I have videos of it if it is a particularly -I cannot think of the word-

The Hon Peter Breen: Intrusive

The Hon John Hatzistergos: It is quite an intrusive process and, quite frankly, I think someone would find it dehumanising. I would prefer it if we didn't have to do it but the fact of the matter is that we have to do it

The Hon John Tingle: It is demeaning

The Hon John Hatzistergos: It is demeaning for individuals, particularly for individuals who do the right thing. I recall Pauline Hanson on radio saying that she would not have visitors coming to her in prison because she had to be strip-searched before and after each visit. All those who came to see her when she went to prison knew she would be strip-searched when she went into the visiting facility and strip-searched again when she left. She said that she could not live with herself and her visitors knowing that she had to go through this process, so she refused to see visitors

I am aware that the reality is that cavities are where the contraband is actually put. Just to give you an idea, we have people who swallow condoms of narcotics, which get through the detection dogs because they are internal. They go into the toilets and pass it through an inmate through a kissing motion. We have had to ban people going to the toilet during visits. If you have to go to the toilet, the visit is over - kaput ????

The Hon Peter Breen: Could I ask a question arising out of that? Some visitors are complaining about the new policy, as you can imagine of having to abandon a visit if they have to go to the toilet. There are cases of visitors having to travel long distances, and bringing young children. The children want to go to the toilet and the parent has to take the child to the toilet and that is the end of the visit. A lot of those visitors have actually expressed the wish to be strip-searched themselves, and their children in order to continue the visit.

The Hon John Hatzistergos: We have indicated that at the end of six months of trailing the policy we will look at that in relation to children. Mr Breen I have to say to you that some people have actually used children to traffic material into prison

The Hon John Hatzistergos: By and large I have to say that the policy, has gone down well in any event. I think people understand it and accept it. There have been a number of small instances where people have written to me along those lines that you have suggested but I think the policy has gone down reasonably well In any event, we will look at it at the end of six months. 

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.

By Just Us Posted 26 October 04

REPORT 5: NSW Department of Corrective Services 2004-05


Drug Free Centre, Pat Down Searches, Claims For Compensation, Public Relations And Media, Assaults, Complaints About Assaults, Taxi Fares, Private Prisons, and Toxic Waste At Silverwater Jail.
 

The Hon John Hatzistergos: Yes the department estimates tat 70 to 80% of offenders are serving sentences for drug-related offences The government employs a range of strategies to rid correctional facilities of illicit drugs, which is not made easier, as I have indicated by the number of movements.

Of course (Mr Humpherson) criticised our proposal for a drug free centre, even though, before the elections, the opposition issued a press release saying the Coalition would trial a drug free prison, with the headline for the press release "Reducing the Drug Use in Prison" Even they didn't believe that their proposal would work. Andrew Humpherson said on 26 October 2003 "You can't have drug-free prisons" He also called repeatedly for all people who enter correctional centres to be subject to pat-down searches. I do not know what the pat-down searches he is proposing would involve, but if you have contraband in women's breasts, down men's groins or up rectums, which is, where we usually find contraband, perhaps he should articulate his proposal a little more clearly. Than he has so far.

He has called on all visitors to be "fully searched". As I said to you earlier that would include chaplains, nuns, consular, diplomatic staff, visiting justices and judges, medical professionals, lawyers, the Ombudsman, ICAC staff and even members of the parliamentary committee and official visitors. We would have to strip-search all those on entry to the correctional centre. I would like to emphasise that the drug-treatment programme that the government is introducing through the correctional centre does represent a tough option for offenders. It is a new approach, which will link the incarceration of the offender to court-ordered treatment. It will complement the significant efforts that are already being made to deal with offenders drug problems through the New South Wales justice and correctional system.

The Hon Melinda Pavey: How many claims were made for compensation and how many were actually paid out.

The Hon Malinda Pavey: How many claims were put before you and were not paid out?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: That is different to what you asked before, but I understand that there are 27 claims made in 2003-04. There are 26 that have not been paid?

The Hon Malinda Pavey: So one person received -

The Hon John Hatzistergos: No one person was paid in relation to claims made in 2003-04 That is the question you asked. That is the precise answer. There are 26 that have not been paid.

The Hon Melinda Pavey: In 2003-04 how many media or public relations advisers did the department or the Minister's office employ, contract or second and at what cost?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: The media and public relations unit employs seven staff as media and community relations advisors. They do the community liaison with community groups, the openings, the bulletin of the department.

The Hon Charlie Lynn: How many complaints were there by inmates or staff assaulting or abusing inmates?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: I do not know

The Hon John Hatzistergos: Do you want me to ask every inmate who was in every correctional centre how many people?

The Hon Charlie Lynn: No how many complaints were there. Do you have a complaints system or registration of complaints system?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: No we refer them to the police. We have a Corrective Services Investigation Unit attached to the Department of Corrective Services and it automatically gets involved in those situations

The Hon Charlie Lynn: Do you have any idea how many of these complaints were upheld and what action if any was taken against any of your staff involved?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: Do you want me to ask the Attorney General?

The Hon Charlie Lynn: Yes I would.

The Hon Melinda Pavey: How much did the Department spend on taxi fares including cab charge in 2003-04?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: Some $65,000 I am told

The Hon Melinda Pavey: Earlier, you referred to Junee gaol. The auditor - General regularly looks at costs comparisons on a prisoner ratio, the cost of maintaining prisoners at Junee gaol I think is about $34,000 per annum, per inmate. In comparison a similar minimum to medium security gaol such as Bathurst would be about $60,000 per annum to keep an inmate in that facility. Can you explain why there is such a cost difference?

The Hon John Hatzistergos: Yes I am happy to the cost of the Junee contract and the cost of maintaining prisoners in public facilities, varies. One reason, particularly in relation to the two institutions which you have identified, is that one facility which was, I think built about fifteen years ago and the other one which was built at the end of the nineteenth century, and they are not comparable in terms of design. The Opposition frequently goes on about costs, and I welcome the fact that you do because you will no doubt be supporting us on our Way Forward strategy, which is aimed at bringing down the cost of public facility incarceration.

But there are a number of strategies, which you can employ to reduce costs. The first thing you can do is close country correctional centres, particularly the similar one which we have built around the state, such as Ivanhoe and Brewarrina. You can close them down but we believe that it is good to have these correction centres spread around the state at places like Tamworth and Cooma, because inmates can be appropriated close to their families and friends. The second thing you can do to bring down the costs is to do what you did when you were in government and that is basically warehousing. You had three or four inmates in a cell in some public institutions. When you ran out of room you just threw them all in. You slashed staff numbers. At Emu Plains in the visitors section inmates were romping on the floor having intercourse in one incident,

You can cut staff numbers. You can pack inmates in like sardines. These are the sorts of strategies that your government was responsible for when you were in office. Another thing that you can do is not worry about other performance indicators. Let escapees plummet away, as they did when you were in Government. . It was becoming a turnstile - people were just walking out. Suicide rates were astonishing and so on. So there is a series of strategies, which you can use to reduce costs. Apart from privatisation, which is the one you have identified. I am not aware of any, which you have particularly put your name to and you wanted to embrace.

The Hon Melinda Pavey: But you clearly embrace Commissioner Woodham's comments on the document "The Way Forward" that many of the current work practices are outdated and do not meet the requirements of a modern correctional philosophies, and that the organisational arrangements have been restrictive and prohibit effective and efficient use of resources.

Mr Woodham: Yes that is partly true

The Hon John Hatzistergos: Yes I have said that and I said it last year.

Mr Woodham: With Dillwynia and Kempsey, we have annualised salaries on a new award agreement above senior correctional officer. We pay overtime at a flat rate for the first time ever, and we will be able to run a maximum and medium not a medium and minimum with$36,000 a year per inmate

The Hon John Hatzistergos: That is the strategy that we wish to roll out across the correctional system

Bills comment It is clear to me that Mr Woodham is acting virtually as a Liberal putting pressure on Labor, with of course Liberal assistance, to make a wholesale attack on wages overtime conditions etc. of prison officers.

The Hon Melinda Pavey: Has the occupational health and safety issue at Silverwater, in relation to toxic vapour been addressed?

Mr McLean: We have a program to which has been developed in the Silverwater complex in relation to what has been exhaust to see whether it is toxic waste on that site.

Exhaust fans were placed in the construction of that facility, and that was considered adequate for all areas at the end of the day, as we have said, we are prepared to look at that again in relation to what has been alleged in relation to fumes from toxic waste.

By Just Us Posted 27 October 04


Justice Denied In NSW Prisons


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.


Taken into account were
 any relevant evidence or proof of and alleged incident and the type and duration of any such punishment that would be given to the prisoner as a result of being found guilty of some type ofinternal prison offence. Whether that is assault, contraband, or gang related activity etc.

The reason for a 
VJ meant that the wide ranging discretion that the commissioner has in relation to the "Good order and security of the prison" could not be conducted on false premise say because somepolitician, police or prison guard took offence to a certain prisoner who was unpopular, either politically or personally.

The 
Ombudsman cannot ask the Department of Corrective Services to prove that some type of internal offence has been committed because under the wide-ranging discretion the Commissioner has there is no clause to force the commissioner to produce such evidence.

Therefore an 
unpopular prisoner can be isolated, in solitary confinement or segregated, at say the (HRMU) High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn Correctional Centredenied visits, without any fresh air or sunlight, no constructive lifestyle, freezing and starving for as long as the Commissioner of Corrective Services want them to.

The evidence shows that after a prolonged duration the prisoner will either, commit suicide, self-harm or suffer brain damage.

Mental illness is then addressed by sending the prisoner to Long Bay Prison Hospital and placed on medication - forced on the prisoner -possibly for the rest of the duration of the prisoner's sentence.

This is an extreme danger for the community in that the system has been
rigged to harm the community at will. 

If you happened to be a 
suspect terrorist [scapegoat or patsy] for example or even a remand prisoner you can be given this punishment without having yet been tried in a court of law before your peers, to have been found guilty of any crime.

If you have been found guilty of a crime but you still argue your innocence and you intend to appeal your sentence then you can do it from the HRMU in a box within a box under extreme conditions whereby you could hardly be expected to be able to defend yourself usually without Legal Aid and having all your legal material examined by DCS and the Channel Ten Television Network.

In my respectful view the 
NSW Department of Corruptive Services is acrime against humanity. And a Visiting Justice must be sent into the prison to ensure that decisions are made impartially and objectively.

By Just Us 27 October 04

Updated: 2005

Adler punished for being in prison

Was Rodney Adler Set-up in prison by a person or persons unknown? NSW: Sydney businessman Rodney Adler has been transferred to a higher-security prison as punishment for allegedly attempting to conduct business activities from jail even though people are sent to prison for punishment not to be punished?


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.

Sources say Bin Laden issued a fatwa on an Islamic website directed at Premier Bob Carr, Justice Minister John Hatzistergos, the Un-Australian Newspaper and "seriously" Channel Ten  television. Allegedly Osama Bin Laden issued a "Fatwa" that was posted on an Islamic Website this morning. Osama Bin Laden's demands included visiting NSW prisoners' at the HRMU for Xmas! 
After a broadcast yesterday by Ten's Eyewitness News suggesting that " The prisoners were now devout Moslems who followed Osama Bin Laden".
Osama was overjoyed and could not believe that he has followers from Australia who look up to him from their hole in the ground and pray for mercy to have some form of constructive lifestyle. Some like Faheem Khalid Lodhi, and Zeky Mallah, who have not committed any crime and who have not been found guilty of committing any crime, yet remand, or a remand prison, is simply out of the question for these alleged terrorists. [? Scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East.]

Other prisoners even though they have been accused of internal disciplinary charges "not proven" because there is no charter for evidence to be relied upon to secure the allegations, by any " visiting justice or magistrate", are stuck in a tomb without any constructive lifestyle for 23 hours a day and have been treated like terrorist by the Justice Minister because, this language suits the neo-cons conspiracy theory.

This means because the "terrorist", 
[scapegoats], being the most unpopular prisoners can be given "no support "in relation to the truth being told. Have no programs or any type of constructive lifestyle, no communication or dialogue. The Department of Corrective Services only have to warehouse them for lest cost and can use these people as propaganda to suit their rhetoric in the politics of fear for the HoWARd government.

However sources say Bin Laden is coming to their rescue! Allegedly Bin Laden posted on an Islamic website this morning a fatwa.

"Fatwa, fatwa, fatwa to, Premier Bob Carr, Justice Minister John Hatzistergos, the Un-Australian Newspaper and 'seriously' channel Ten", the statement said,

"And to all those infidels in Parliament house Macquarie Street Sydney, and Parliament House Canberra for their lies and propaganda".

So these sinister prisoner/terrorist/
scapegoats, locked up in chains could be up to something? For instance they might incite other terrorists,[scapegoats], to blow up the Long Bay twin towers?

But the truth is for a long time now suspected terrorists, 
[scapegoats], and unpopular people are all treated more harshly in the NSW High Risk Management Super-max prison for terrorists, [scapegoats], mass murderers, child killers, pack rapists and unpopular people, ever since the HRMU was opened.

But now a few more keywords have been added to the "security classification" like AA will sit atop the existing classification system, which runs A1, A2, E1, B, E2, C1, C2, C3, with A levels representing maximum security, B medium, C minimum, and the E levels added for prisoners with escape histories.

"AA" = "terrorist" = "label" = "demon" = "no constructive lifestyle or programs for prisoners" and no responsibility for the Department to rehabilitate offenders while they're in jail.

Hatzistergos will introduce this classification to other state jails. That means overcrowded jails warehousing prisoners instead of rehabilitating prisoners will become the norm. 
In short "no care taken and no responsibility taken by the government who is supposed to be rehabilitating prisoners". Prisoners claimed to be a terrorist or and alleged terrorist or a suspected terrorist, [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], with, [alleged], links, links and more links to an alleged terrorist, [scapegoat], can be warehoused.

Then they can become the most unpopular person by being suspected of "terror". So instead of actually being a "mass murderer, child killer or pack rapist" they can be all those monsters bundled into one, just because they're suspected of being a terrorist, 
[framed and profiled by the authorities by using draconian laws], without even committing a crime. Make sense? Makes sense to me and that also does away with the, [usual criminal court rules of evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt and the rest], cutting the cost of "annihilating your opponents" in the politics of fear mongering for warmongers like, [war criminal], Prime Minister John Howard, [and ensuring a guilty verdict, to do nothing at no place at no time, alleged thought crimes.]

The "A1" rating now reserved for those prisoners considered, 
[by war criminals], the greatest threat to community safety is to be topped by an "AA" classification imposed solely on inmates, [prisoners], with terrorist,[scapegoat], links? Terrorist links, links, links and terrorist cells, cells, cells. And they can bet it'll be all because "sources say," say, say and keep on saying it was them.

Any prisoner graded AA would be subject to even tighter security than the 113 "special high risk" inmates, 
[prisoners], classified A1?

Perhaps now prisoners will get tortured with bags over their heads and have their cloths removed? What about electric shock treatment? That will get them talking? And if that doesn't work why not use "disco sleep depravation" that is "just in case they decide to hold out on us form their box within a box with no fresh air or sunlight"?

The NSW Minister for Justice, John Hatzistergos, said prisoners who posed a special risk to national security and the good order and security of the state's prisons would be classified AA "terrorist inmates". 
[Scapegoats.]

That could be anyone of you, smiling faces out there in the community, but you won't be smiling for long after you're "chilled out at the Harm-U, all because you're suspected". As such, you would be housed only in the highest security facilities, would not have contact visits unless it was "deemed safe", and all mail not to or from a "defined exempt body" would be screened.

But this has been the case at the HRMU since its conception. All prisoner mail is interfered with and withheld, 
we have proof. All prisoners housed there are denied visits, we have proof. Even mail from exempt bodies has been grossly examined by the Corrective Services, we have proof and support groups like Justice Action's mail has been blanket banned what about that!

AA inmates, 
[prisoner/scapegoats], would have no recourse to the "official visitor" provisions available to other NSW prisoners and instead could take complaints to the Ombudsman?

The Ombudsman who incidentally has no power of veto over the Corrective Services Commissioners discretionary powers for the "Good Order and Security of the prison".  

The Commissioner needs to show no proof regardless of the guilt or innocence of any prisoner whether they should be isolated for an alleged crime or for how long they should remain in isolation. All prisoners housed at the super-max prison have no recourse whatsoever!

The cabinet committee on counter-terrorism, 
[fear mongering propaganda authorities], had approved the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Amendment (Category AA Inmates) Regulation 2004 bill, which would be introduced to Parliament. [?]

But one of their reasons for doing this is because the Justice Minister and Cabinet now want to isolate and mistreat the states prisoners and make their current treatment legitimate as if they have done no wrong to date.

There is no visiting justice going into the prison and the Commissioner of Corrective Services has discretionary powers, which, the Ombudsman cannot veto. No proof about the reason why a prisoner should remain "isolated indefinitely" can be called for by the Ombudsman even though the Geneva Convention maintains isolation should be no longer than 32 hours and the fact that these prisoners are not at war with Australia?

As well as the AA level for male inmates, 
[prisoners], a new Category 5 would be introduced for female prisoners, [scapegoats], whose highest security classification has been Category 4.

"We must prepare for the future and the contingency of holding convicted terrorists in our prisons," Mr Hatzistergos said. "This new high-security regime is tougher than the conditions imposed on the state's most violent and dangerous non-terrorist inmates - for instance criminals such as 
Ivan Milat."

[Just mention the most unpopular person to get the rest of the public to agree with draconian legislation for scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing, typical of the behaviour of a government stooge.] 

But this preparation comes too late because for the prisoners who have not died in the HRMU from their treatment but have self harmed or become brain dead through mental illness have already been critically damaged by their experience. 
Hatzistergos just wants to make it legal now? But it's a bit too late to cover his tracks because we have recorded the complaints long before the legislation was even thought about!

Ten reported, "Mr Hatzistergos did not say so, but AA inmates would probably be housed at the High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn, known as Super Max, where A1 inmates, including 
Milat, are held?

[Typical of the media propaganda as well, to use the most unpopular person in their article to argue for the Ministers draconian laws or in this case Regulations.] 

But Hatzistergos knows so! And has even done so! For a long time prior this supposed alleged legislation/Regulation, 
so cut the crap!

According to the draft 
regulation, the Commissioner for Corrective Services, Ron Woodham, would impose an AA classification on inmates,[prisoners], "who, in the opinion of the commissioner" "with his discretionary powers" "represent a special risk to national security".

[Scapegoats or Patsies for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East, whereby the Coalition had pre war plans, committed illegal and degrading pre-emptive attacks on foreign nation states, occupations, genocide, maiming and torture of Afghanistan and Iraq. So who are the terrorists? Who represents the greatest risk to any nations National Security? War criminals like George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard!]

This is an indictment on society and the community is being told lies, half-truths and propaganda to say the very least, 
we have proof.

Hatzistergos: "For example, because of a perceived risk that they may engage in, or incite other persons to engage in, terrorist activities." 
[?]

Terrorist prisoners held in a "box within a box" with no "fresh air or sunlight" at Goulburn HRMU may incite alleged terrorists in Long Bay to blow up Long Bay's Twin Towers?

Proposed AA inmates,
 [prisoners], "should at all times be confined in special facilities within a secure physical barrier that includes towers or electronic surveillance equipment".

A segregation yard!

Mr Hatzistergos said the Department of Corrective Services had been working with "other states" to develop national guidelines for managing terrorists and suspected terrorists in custody.

"Officers from my department have closely examined the security strategies used by 
Israeli and French prison authorities," he said. "This regime represents world's best practice for dealing with terrorists in custody."

There are two inmates, 
[prisoners], in NSW charged with terrorism offences - Faheem Khalid Lodhi, accused of plotting an attack on Australia's energy supply infrastructure, and Zeky Mallah, accused of planning a suicide bombing.

By Propaganda Monster 1 November 04

Related:

ASIO, AFP, NSW POLICE, HRMU: THREAT!
COMMUNITY URGED TO RAISE THEIR THREAT LEVELS TO HIGH ALERT! ASIO, AFP, NSW POLICE, HRMU: TERROR CELLS LINKED! LET YOU BE THE JUDGE!

Justice Denied In NSW Prisons
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.

BREAK AND ENTER: NSW POLICE
Police will be able to break into your home without your knowledge and no less than a common criminal not tell their victims that they are doing it.

AFP: The unlikely CRIMINAL
It was born of a bombing and it made its name after a far more devastating act of terrorism. But for most of the 25 years in between, little was known about the Australian Federal Police force or the work it did.

He was an undercover agent for the blues
He was my journalist, he was working undercover. The fellow knew all of the moves.... He really had me romping, bare footing stomping. He just kept igniting my fuse....


NSW Greens lose bid to stop jail boss getting more power


Australia/Cuba?: The greens failed today in a bid to quash the NSW Corrective Services Commissioner's power to classify prisoners as a "special risk" to national security?


Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon tody moved a motion in the NSW Upper House to block a regulation creating a new prisoner classification for prisoners considered security threats.

She said the regulation represents "shades of Guantanamo Bay", with the Carr government using draconian measures which fed the resentment and unfairness that caused terrorism.

Her disallowance motion was defeated 32-4.

The regulation, 
created by NSW justice minister John Hatzitergos, grants Correctice Services Commissioner Ron Woodham the power to determine how prisoners should be classified?

Regulations are usually created by government ministers and don't go through parliament, but parliament does have the power to disallow them.

Under Hatzistergos' regulation, prisoners classified as "posing a threat to national security" will be housed only in highest security facilities. 
NSW (HRMU) High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn Correctional Centre in isolation in a "box within a box" with "no fresh air or sunlight".

They will not have contact visits unless they are deemed safe? And mail with be screened?

The community is advised to resist any attempt to be jailed by the Carr Government for the sake of your mental health. 
You just won't be treated fairly!

Ms Rhiannon said the new powers should have been drafted as legislation, properly debated and understood by the parliament.

"There are shades of Guantanamo Bay here," she said.

"Like George Bush, the Carr government is using unnecessary, draconian measures which feed the resentment and unfairness that cause terrorism. This is no solution."

[Terrorists like George Bush's Patriot Act and the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East, with pre-war plans, pre-emptive attacks on Sovereign Nation States, subsequent occupations, genocide, maiming, rendition, secret prisons and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those are terrorist acts.] 

Ms Rhiannon said anti-terrorism experts should be deciding who poses a security threat not Mr Woodham.
 

"Commissioner Woodham's job is to manage jails, not manage national security. The rules don't even require him to liase with other agencies that actually understand terrorism," Ms Rhiannon said.

Hatzistergos said the new management regime "was a central plank in NSW's terrorism preparedness".

"This regime is in accordance with world standards for dealing with terrorists in custody," he said.

"And the definition is broad enough to include inmates, 
[prisoners], serving sentences for non-terrorist offences who subsequently exhibit behaviour which potentially poses a risk to national security of the security of a correctional centre"?

ACCORDING TO COMMISSIONER RON WOODHAM WHO IS TOLD WHAT TO DO BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY AND WHOEVER ELSE WHO WANTS TO PAY OUT ON SERVING PRISONERS INCLUDING POLICE!

By Just Us 11 November 04

The Greens NSW 

Related:

Community Challenges in Justice
Punching on ones own like yourselves is soul destroying, we need a few friends. Keen to learn of your friends? Professor of criminology at Victoria University, Philip Stenning, recently visited the Napier Public Library to view the Robson Collection, which is a special collection on criminal, restorative and social justice based on the philosophy of "developing communities not prisons".
The ALP's fascist police states
Welcome back Sid-in-knee. Old Falangist Samaranch would surely feel right at home in any number of fascist police states around this wide brown land today. Who needs Franco when you have Beattie, Rann, Carr, Bracks and co. Flamin' fascist fucks the lot of them.

You have choses Bob The Barbarian!
New laws to make it difficult for people charged with terrorism offences to get bail have been whisked through the New South Wales Parliament after only being introduced earlier today.

Carr Govt dramatic increases in the NSW prisoner pop...
Following the opening of the 500 bed Kempsey prison, and a new 200-bed prison for women at Windsor the Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS) and community organisations specialising in the rehabilitation of prisoners, have expressed concern....


STATE PRISON RECORDS FOR NSW

SEARCH THE INDEX TO THE GAOL PHOTOGRAPHS? SEND A POSTCARD TO A FRIEND FOR XMAS! OR JUST HANG THEM ON THE WALL AT HOME AS A TROPHY!

(RON WOODHAM) COMMISSIONER (DCS) NSW State Records NSW - Indexes online 21 Oct 2008.

IF YOU WANT A SIGNED PHOTO CONTACT THE OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PRIVACY COMMISSIONER ADDRESS BELOW:

At this stage copies are available for Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Berrima, Broken Hill, Biloela and Dubbo gaols.

Darlinghurst gaol - reels 5097-5101 are now available!

Tips for searching

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FOR SIGNED COPIES CONTACT:

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PRIVACY COMMISSIONER

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(this number is dedicated for the hearing impaired only)
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By The Privacy Act 16 November 04

Related:

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.


Penrith police station a 'home away from home'?

How do you plead?
How do you plead?
How do you plead?


Dirty, without a change of clothes and very sick your Worship!

On Friday night my husband was arrested for riding his motorbike whilst disqualified. Traffic offence.

If he broke the law then he's sure paying an unusual price considering he's been held in custody in a police cell since last Friday night 12 November 2004.

He has been held in a Penrith police cell since being arrested at 11 pm last Friday night and apparently going to be held there until his court appearance in Wyong local court next Friday the 19 November 2004.

I have tried to take him some clothes but I was refused by the Corrective Services staff at Penrith police station.

Craig Booth my husband has not had a shower or a change of clothes since being taken into custody.

He doesn't get proper food, or medical treatment for an ongoing illness, which requires him to move around due to pins in his legs.

When we asked how long he's being held at the Penrith police station the Corrective Services staff told us that there are 256 prisoners' waiting to get to the prison facilities so there is a backlog of prisoners waiting for transport due to prison overcrowding.

I've complained to the Ombudsman but Craig is still being kept in a police cell at Penrith police station.

So for all you prospective lawbreakers remember not to get caught even for a minor traffic offence because you could end up like my husband or even die in the police cells waiting for a court just to get around to hearing your plea, whatever that may be?

HELP!


By Leonie Booth 16 November 04


NSW COMMUNITY NEWS NETWORK ARCHIVE

Human Rights, Civil Human Rights, Democratic Rights, Politics, Police & Prisons...


Politics, Police, Prisons