Monday, 12 May 2008


“Mental health consumers have drawn a line in the sand after recent government attacks on their quality of life” said JA spokesperson Brett Collins.

“Patients under state control have had their social interaction reduced, and right to smoke removed. These vulnerable and isolated citizens, to whom the state owes a special obligation, are extremely distressed and have asked for community assistance,” said JA spokesperson Michael Poynder.

The patients at Long Bay Hospital are now locked up at 3.30pm instead of 9pm, to cut costs, although all professional advice is that seclusion of these people will cause mental illness.

Additionally, all mental patients under the Health Department will lose access to the legal drug tobacco. Eighty percent smoke - a pleasure they have controlled since European settlement.

“This is a disgusting example to the rest of the community of bullying of dependent people. It is like the removal of all-day visits from the mothers of Emu Plains. They need to have their arses kicked” said Mr Collins.

“The ultimate hypocrisy is that the Federal government nominated mental health as a top priority with an increase of $1.8 billion over 5 years,” said Mr Collins. Premier Iemma said on his appointment (8/05) that mental health was a “light on the hill.” “If I am in this job for a reasonable time and I can’t point to progress in these areas I will judge myself to have failed”.

“Mental health service providers, psychiatrists and nurses across Australia have joined the defence of these most vulnerable citizens. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre has been briefed for legal action. The patients call on the media to enter the institutions with Justice Action, and talk with them” said Mr Poynder.

Today the Right to Choose Alliance, comprising organisations across Australia has launched its website with the statement of the NSW Nurses Association attached to the Justice Action website.

For comments: Brett Collins 0438 705003
Michael Poynder 0401 371077

Trades Hall, Suite 204, 4 Goulburn St, Sydney
NSW 2000 Australia.
PO Box 386, Broadway NSW 2007
T 612 9283 0123 | F 612 9283 0112
W Justice Action

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We owe prisoners more than jail
Prisons are too important to be left to jailers, for the simple reason that the standard prison magnifies social problems. It is a congregation of people with an accumu–lation of risk factors for crime.

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.

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.

International Conference on Penal Abolition

The full agenda for ICOPA is now online, and pending any further changes, the line-up is looking like we're going to have a fascinating conference. With speakers coming to present papers from Brazil, Trinidad, Canada, Australia, USA, Belgium, Argentina, South Africa plus many more including the UK, we are really looking at a truly international conference.

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