Friday, 19 September 2008


“Justice Action condemns the A.C.T Stanhope Government for its attempt to stifle prisoners’ complaints before it has its first prisoner.

The selection of an ex-policeman to receive their trust is disrespectful to the general community. It is like offering a fox to look after chickens. Prisoners won’t use him” said spokesperson Brett Collins.

“The arrogant lack of consultation with the concerned community – specifically the sixty five organisations and individuals making up the Community Coalition on Corrections has allowed this outrageous appointment to happen. An Aboriginal ex-policeman is especially compromised, having had to enforce a system imprisoning fourteen times as many of his people” said Mr Collins.

“The Official Visitor position is specifically designed by s.58(3) of the Act to be independent of the Government. It is Official Whistleblower with entitlement to inspect the prison at any time. In NSW there is a long history of intimidation of OV’s including the 2005 sacking of the Inspector General who coordinated them. The position is always contentious given the misery of a prison and the sick people isolated from their families’ support” said Kat Armstrong.

“This cynical appointment is another government lie, like the trumpeted human rights, family-friendly prison. Instead it is guaranteed to become a social blight on the ACT landscape, incubating our social problems and spewing out degraded and isolated people less able to cope than before.

Can we have some openness and honesty please Mr Stanhope?” asked Mr Collins.

For comment: Brett Collins 0438 705003
Kat Armstrong 0428 312035

No comments: