Thursday, November 19, 2009

Australia: Women's Prisons

From The Age:
The Victorian Brumby Government is entirely ingenuine in its "concerns" about the women's prison. Its belated investigation into the prison has been prompted only by media embarrassment, because the Government has been aware of the many near-deaths, sex between senior officers and general disarray at the prison for months.

The fact that the Premier is asking for a full and detailed report into the incidents indicates that Minister Bob Cameron has himself been nodding off on the job, or completely failing in his duty of care to women prisoners.

It is a disgrace that media is again the prison whistleblower so as to force the hand of government because there is no independent public monitoring or transparency about Victorian prisons. Freedom of Information is also an oxymoron when it comes to prisons. Our community legal service has been in the courts for years to get access to a 2003 document produced by the Corrections Inspectorate — the body set up to monitor prisons — but not disclose what it finds. This ongoing dance of non-disclosure has cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And from News Online:
ALLEGATIONS of a sexual relationship between prison officials and a large increase in drug overdoses have rocked Victoria's largest women's prison.

A department source aware of the incident said: "Who was supervising the prison while this was going on?''

In a statement, Corrections Minister Bob Cameron said: "These are serious issues and the Corrections Commissioner has assured me that every effort is being made by the prison authorities to resolve them.''


Unknown said...

This is a dreadful situation. Part of the problem with drugs is that most people don't understand that OxyContin is legal heroin. They don't understand that is what many of the "pain killer" drugs are--synthetic heroin.


Melisende said...

Thanks Steve. Yes, the prison system in general needs a good shake up world wide.