Thursday, 3 April 2008

Madness causing madness in prison hospital

“Fifty mental health patients held at the Long Bay Prison Hospital have from yesterday been locked in cells from 3.30 in the afternoon rather than the normal 9pm” said JA spokesperson Brett Collins.

“The nurses and prison officers have expressed their extreme concern to Justice Minister Hatzistergos on the effect of solitary confinement and loss of access to therapeutic support for these most vulnerable patients with severe mental illnesses and medical/surgical needs. He fobbed them off on April 1st.” said Mr Collins.

“The patients will self harm, and become sicker as a consequence. They will be drugged to tolerate the conditions although they have said they will refuse medication as a protest. The patients now call for the media and Justice Action to inspect the hospital and speak with their representatives.” said Mr Collins.

“This is part of a new regime negotiated with private companies in a PPP that relieves the government of the cost of the new hospital. Twenty-eight prison officer positions have been withdrawn.” said JA spokesperson Brett Collins.

“Health in NSW has reached a new low. This is despite Premier Iemma and the Federal government nominating mental health as its top priority concern. Minister Hatzistergos is the ultimate bully, who against the advice of the experts, imposes the authority of the state on sick citizens who are totally dependent. While he describes the plan as “The Way Forward” he presides over the worst recidivist rate in the country with the victims bearing the cost, and a budget of $1 billion” said Mr Collins.

“Court intervention to compel the government to maintain their duty of care is unlikely to be successful. The NSW Supreme Court this week affirmed its unpreparedness to overturn wrong prison discretionary decisions, when it refused to compel the entry of the prisoner newspaper JUST US. However in Victoria, Supreme Court Justice Bongiorno stopped the “terrorism” trial due to prison conditions” said Mr Collins.

For comments: Brett Collins 0438 705003


Prison hospital lock-down: mental patients madness
“Prison authorities have ordered the removal of 28 officers from the prison hospital area as part of their ironically named “Way Forward”. This will lock patients into cells at 3.30pm instead of the current 9pm from April 2nd” said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.

Judges depart Red Mass
Bishop Peter Ingham reminded the Judges about locking up the mentally ill in prison and that they should not be dishing out double punishment to them.

No comments: