Churches protest Christmas day prison visits cancellation.
“Over 2,700 children and family members have visited prisoners on Christmas Day for the past 16 years, until NSW Corrective Services stopped the visits last year. After an initial change of heart, Christmas Day visits have been cancelled again” JA coordinator Brett Collins revealed today.
“The Catholic Church, the Uniting Church through its division Uniting Care, the Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes and others have called for Corrective Services to reinstate Christmas Day visits” he said.
“Christmas Day is traditionally a day for families to come together in a spirit of love and forgiveness. It celebrates a day when the most important family in the Christian world first came together. This day is about children, wives, parents and husbands of prisoners who need contact with their jailed loved ones” said JA coordinator Michael Poynder.
“The recidivism rate in NSW is a shocking 43.7% - the highest in the country, but State Plan efforts hope to reduce it by 10%. Corrective Services acknowledge the significance of the family to help prisoners readjust upon release. Support for Christmas Day, which promotes the family ethos including the missing family member, is essential to reduce this figure” said Mr Collins.
“Justice Action calls on Commissioner Woodham to return Christmas Day visits and to make Christmas a feature goodwill event in the Corrective Services calendar – a day where hope and rebirth are expressed as it has in the past” said Mr Poynder.
Brett Collins on 0438 705 003 Michael Poynder on 0401 371 077
SHINE for Kids What happens for a young person who has a parent in prison?
There are a lot of consequences for children or young people who have a parent in prison. During Groupwork the kids themselves have identified as being:
Isolated – feeling lonely Stigmatised – feeling they aren't as good as others Ostracised/ignored – left out Missing out on time with Mum or Dad on activities, because there isn't enough money Angry – at Dad, at Mum, at the police, at themselves Deserted – betrayed, let down Frightened about Mum or Dad not being OK about what is going to happen to them now Humiliated/embarrassed – most kids wouldn't dare tell any of their friends Stressed – stress can trigger anger/aggression, fits of crying, even bedwetting Guilty – a lot of kids feel like it is their fault that mum or dad is in jail Confused by changes in family dynamics Insecure – most kids no longer feel safe and secure, they miss their parent Low in self esteem Having to become the adult Statistics indicate that at any one time approximately 15,000 students in NSW are directly affected by the imprisonment of a parent, and that 60,000 students under the age of 16 have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives. The peer groups of each of these students can also be affected indirectly.
Death brinkmanship patients lockdown “The Minister for Justice Mr Hazistergos has been finally called to order by patients in the Long Bay Prison Hospital. After his unmet promise to Parliament on November 12 that no forensic patients would remain locked down in his prison hospital after November 28, the first protest has occurred” said JA spokesperson Brett Collins.
Prison privatisation morally wrong, bankrupt “The NSW Government’s mini budget decision to privatise Cessnock and Parklea prisons would add them to the disaster that prison privatisation has proven around the world. Unions NSW added its voice in a resolution last night.” said JA Coordinator Brett Collins.
Two more NSW jails to be privatised Cutting services through privatisation will mean worse results and higher costs eventually, which will be borne by the victims and taxpayers..Justice Action.
NSW slashes $3 billion - deficit $917M The NSW government has slashed more than $3 billion from its planned spending for the next four years, as today's mini-budget confirms the state will record a deficit of $917 million this financial year.
160 juveniles housed in NSW police cells We have seen a massive increase in the number of kids who are being held on remand partly due to the changes in bail laws: Juvenile Justice Minister Most prisoners in New South Wales will be confined to their cells today as prison officers strike against privatisation plans.