5 June 2008
NSW Legislative Council
LONG BAY CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX HOSPITAL REGIME
In March 2008, Justice Action received a letter from Mr. Barry Collier MP, assistant to the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, in which he responded to the ongoing, restrictive visitation system currently in place at Emu Plains Correctional Centre.
Having been in regular contact with inmates, former inmates, and their familiesthose who are experiencing the changed visitation policies firsthandJustice Action circulated Mr. Colliers letter amongst the group for comment. Their overwhelming response leads us to believe that Corrective Services is continuing to spread seriously misleading information regarding the current policy and the impact that it is having on all those involved.
Wilful disregard of the law and history
The actions of Justice Health and the Attorney General in implementing the extended lockdown of forensic patients at Long Bay, wilfully disregards the law, undertakings given in Parliament and the lessons of history.
After a six month campaign responding to a petition from mental patients held in the Long Bay prison hospital, the government has passed control from Prisons to Health. This acknowledges the rights of mental patients to treatment.
JUST US goes to one in every two prisoners in Australia and New Zealand; also to every judge from the High Court to magistrate by name. A copy is also sent to every MP in every Parliament in both countries.
NSW Prisons Commissioner Woodham last year banned the Federal Election Special from NSW prisons. He refused to provide reasons for his decision, although 5 other states and territories accepted it without a problem.
In the High Court decision made on the 30th of August 2007 prisoners serving a sentence of less than 3 years won back their right to vote.
In light of this decision JA has taken continued action to ensure that eligible prisoners have the opportunity to enrol and vote in the upcoming 2007 Federal election.
With the removal of traditional all day visits by children to their mothers at the Emu Plains Prison DCS has systematically begun the breakdown of families and an increase in re-offending. Even Assistant Director of DCS, Mr. L. Grant acknowledged this:
We believe that people who maintain contact with their families are less likely to re-offend...
September 8, 2007.
JUSTICE ACTION representing convicts in the host Penal Colony of Australia, having regained their right to political expression returning the prisoner vote in the High Court of Australia, now exercise that right of political expression.
Torture is the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) nations' norm said Justice Action spokesperson Brett Collins today. We prisoners of the APEC nations condemn those governments for...