On 3 September 2013, Tammy Franks MLC, the Greens' Correctional Services spokesperson, has acted on behalf of people in prisons throughout Australia, as he called out South Australia's Corrective Services in their refusal to admit the Just Us 2013: Federal Election special edition into prisons and health facilities.
Minister O'Brien Should Provide ‘Just Us’ to SA Prisoners in Time for Polling Day
The Greens’ Correctional Services spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC has called on the Minister for Correctional Services to intervene to permit inmates eligible to vote in South Australia’s Correctional Services institutions the right to receive election-related material from a prisoners’ advocacy organisation.
“The decision by the SA Department to ban the delivery of the election edition of the ‘Just Us’ newspaper to inmates stands alone, with all other states and territories prepared to acknowledge the rights of prisoners to receive this publication,” Ms Franks said.
“The election edition of ’Just Us’, produced by the NSW-based by Justice Action group, is primarily aimed at informing prisoners and mental health consumers of the policies of the different parties and contains no material that could reasonably be deemed as inappropriate for distribution within the correctional services system.
“The decision by the South Australian Department of Correctional Services to prohibit the availability of ‘Just Us’ to prisoners in South Australia has been made without providing any explanation or reasons and represents a significant challenge to fundamental principles of administrative law and the constitutional rights of prisoners to be allowed to be informed when they vote.
“Currently all prisoners serving a sentence of three years or less retain their democratic right to have vote and I believe that this right needs to be acknowledged.
“If we are serious about correctional services institutions having rehabilitation and preparation for re-integration into society as a long-term aim, then it is critical that the rights that prisoners do retain be respected.
“The delivery of ‘Just Us’ to prisoners is a fundamental part of assisting them to participate in the democratic process of this Federal election and a key part of a socially inclusive strategy of re-integration.
“I’m hopeful the Minster will take action to support the franchise of some of SA’s most marginalised citizens and deliver ‘Just Us’ to prisoners,” Ms Franks concluded.