Media Release November 1, 2011
NSW blocks prisoners' computers
"Prisons Commissioner Woodham misled the Parliamentary Estimates Hearing on Wednesday 26/10/2011 when he said 'they [prisoners] can do all their education, training and access what they need to [on computers]'. His comments are just plain wrong" said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.
"As one example, of the two hundred and fifty prisoners within the Mulawa Womens Correctional Facility, only five at a time have access to a computer and are restricted to only 2 hours a week” said JA worker Rosie.
“Prisoners spend 18 hours a day in their cells and they must use their time effectively rather than watch TV. The Computers in Cells Proposal would reduce recidivism through education, skills, interaction and legal resources. Computer skills are essential to reintegrate with our modern society and form part of its workforce. That makes us safer” said Mr Collins.
“With the ACT and Victoria already having computers in cells, and with the new Nowra Prison cells wired ready, why leave NSW in the dark ages? Security and costs have been addressed and are no problem. We must act now to improve community inclusion ” said Rosie.
“Education is moving to a computer-based platform. In the US by 2014, national GED Testing (high school diploma) will be only by computer. With the US racing to provide prisoners with computers in cells, we must also prepare for the future rather than delaying the inevitable” said Mr Collins.
Comments: Brett Collins 0438 705003