Justice Action

time for Justice Action

 

ICOPA XI - Tas (1)

ICOPA XI Papers & Briefs - 1 : A-C
Hobart, Tasmania. 7-11th of February 2006

Authors, topics and documents presented at the conference - where possible in both Word and PDF formats

Authors and Presenters Biographies
To view all presenters and authors biographies,
click here (in PDF format)




Index of Papers and Briefs - by Author


Authors - A-C
Drugs and Prisons: Shooting for Harm Reduction
Kat Armstrong (Australia)

Tightening the Screws: Prisoners’ Action and the Offer of Hope
Kat Armstrong (Australia)

Extract from his letter dated 28 January 2006
Malcolm Baker

Pathways to Resettlement
Tiffany Bodiam (Australia)

How the NSW Law and Order Train Ran Over Prison Abolition
Brett Collins (Australia)

Abolitionism and the Prison Industrial Complex: Strategies for Change
Brett Collins (Australia)

From Victimization to Criminalization: What Next?
Vicki Chartrand (Canada)

Abolitionism and the Prison Industrial Complex: Strategies for Change
Vicki Chartrand (Canada)

The Hole – Prison Segregation
Dr Bree Carlton & Craig W.J. Minogue (Australia)

It’s Back to the Future: Have the Lessons of Jika Jika Been Forgotten?
Bree Carlton & Craig Minogue*

Pathways to Prison Abolition - Reflecting on the New Zealand Experience
Jim Consedine (New Zealand)

Being Heard: Stories of Tasmanian Imprisonment
Rodney Crosswell

Authors - C-M
[click here]
Authors - N-Z [click here]

Abolitionism and the Prison Industrial Complex:
Strategies for Change

Brett Collins (Australia)

Prisons have long failed every test as a useful institution serving their communities. But they survive due to the entrenched interests they maintain and the mythology surrounding their inhabitants. Our task is to show that the institution is counterproductive. To show that the worst fears of the public are more likely due to imprisonment. That worse crime is created by trying to warehouse the problems. That people in prison are normal and degrading them is uncivilised, reducing our society as did slavery. This can only happen by returning to prisoners their voices.

 

The Hole – Prison Segregation
Dr Bree Carlton & Craig W.J. Minogue (Australia)

Historically, maximum-security and supermax prisons within prisons such as Pentridge’s Jika Jika, Long Bay’s Katingal and in recent times the Goulburn Supermax have been designed to exert exclusive disciplinary and coercive control over the system’s supposedly high-risk, ‘unruly’ and ‘dangerous’ prisoners through the application of hi-tech security devices, remote controls and psychological strategies including sensory deprivation and solitary confinement.

This paper highlights that despite the well-known brutalising and potentially lethal impacts of such regimes, as demonstrated by the Jika experience, recent developments in Victoria’s Barwon Prison suggest that supermax conditions are currently being introduced and ‘normalised’ in the mainstream prison system. This process of securitisation or ‘Marionisation’ has been implemented at the expense of much-needed educational, mental health and rehabilitative programs.

 

Being Heard: Stories of Tasmanian Imprisonment
Rodney Crosswell

“Once a crim always a crim” The first few months post prison is a critical time in which ex-prisoners need support from dedicated agencies that understand the particular needs of prisoners. There are no dedicated services in Tasmania and those that take on the issues of ex-prisoners are overworked and under funded. As well, no pre-release programs of any consequence exist. On top of dealing with complex post-release issues this speaker will also discuss dealing with the difficult attitude of ‘once a crim always a crim’.

 

Extract from his letter dated 28 January 2006
Malcolm Baker

Malcolm is presently in Long Bay's hospital facility and he writes:

“On induction into the hospital most blokes act or talk rationally, but after an interview with a psych, you are said to be mentally ill and then put on drugs you don't want. If you refuse, you are held down and injected with ‘Aquafaze’.

It consists of up to five different drugs and has a bad effect on all inmates. You have to make the choice to keep getting that or take pills, which all have bad side-effects, but none as bad as ‘Aquafaze’, or so it's called. The side-effects interfere with speech, memory and behaviour. In my case I was forced to take it twice, via injections, then’ when I took the pills, the side-effects were bad for 12 months or so.

Then they finally found a pill that agreed with me and I could act normal again and the psych said to me, “You were totally not with it when I came here”. I said, “Bullshit, it was all the drugs ‘forced’ on me, and the others I took, in fear of injections with Aquafaze”. I ask to be weaned off them, so I could show the real me without drugs, but he said “No”.

If I'm not wrong, this amounts to mental and physical abuse. MENTAL CRUELTY AND PHYSICAL CRUELTY, still chargeable offences and systematic abuse, with intent.”

 

It’s Back to the Future: Have the Lessons of Jika Jika Been Forgotten?
Bree Carlton & Craig Minogue*

This paper highlights that despite the well-known brutalising and potentially lethal impacts of such regimes, as demonstrated by the Jika Jika experience, a recent string of security upgrades in Victoria’s Barwon Prison suggest that supermax conditions are currently being introduced and ‘normalised’ in the mainstream prison system.
Word / PDF:

 

Pathways to Prison Abolition - Reflecting on the New Zealand Experience
Jim Consedine (New Zealand)

Introduction I sometimes wonder whether western culture is obsessed with street crime and its effects. Practically every night we are inundated with television 'news' stories of crime committed in our localities and around the world. The first television news bulletin I saw when I arrived in the United States commenced with four 'street crime' crime stories.

One was a murder arrest, while the other three were stories of assaults. Only then the bulletin moved onto other world issues. We need to reassess our understanding of crime and ask why it is that corporate crime and governmental crime advance virtually unhindered, while localised 'street crime' has become so central to so many. The answer lies somewhere in the mixed realm of our own hidden fears and our sense of powerlessness in the face of crime, and the immense power of corporate vested interests who gain so much from the current situation and control so much of what we view and read.

 

From Victimization to Criminalization: What Next?
Vicki Chartrand (Canada)

The notion of victim is a common and often overlooked term used in the field of criminal justice. While the concept of victim is often neglected, it nonetheless carries a very specific and narrow understanding that promotes and reproduces ‘crime control’ and ‘punitive’ practices. Current dominant understandings not only shape and limit a notion of ‘victim’, but also determine who is entitled such status and when. I look at the works of Robert Elias (1993) to shed light on this volatile term and, in so doing, how it might be considered otherwise.

 

Abolitionism and the Prison Industrial Complex: Strategies for Change
Vicki Chartrand (Canada)

Penal abolition is often referred to as both a theory and practice. Borrowing from the works of Thomas Mathiesen (1974) and Michel Foucault, I consider how abolition can be thought of and practiced in a way to avoid the dangers often present in an abolitionist perspective and approach.

 

Pathways to Resettlement
Tiffany Bodiam (Australia)

Unprecedented increases in prison populations and imprisonment rates nationally and internationally, particularly in the last two decades, have caused concern on a global front. As a consequence, western society is now witnessing an unmatched number of prisoners released to the community each year. Prisoner release has traditionally raised questions of public safety, and the social and economic costs for communities. Indeed recidivism is one of the few prisoner release issues to make it into public and political debates.

Current discussions however, dominated by concerns for broader social issues of risk, cripplingly limit the ways society understands and engages with released men and women. Most significantly, the omission of prisoner narratives and consideration to individual experiences and understandings of release positions a discourse that fails to acknowledge the most critical voice. This paper draws on interviews with released men and women, opening up new discussions of prison release and engaging with critical experiences that are often unspoken and faced in isolation.

 

How the NSW Law and Order Train Ran Over Prison Abolition
Brett Collins (Australia)

We had a head of steam in the 1970’s where prisoner action forced a Royal Commission and exposed over 34 years of “brutality and savagery” by the state. But the gains made were illusory and without structural support. Instead disgraced prison officers were promoted to greater authority, to the top of the Department and to control the Minister, networking with police as never before, and becoming feared arms of the state. Now prisoner numbers have doubled, and sentences are much longer.

Prisoners are divided into sealed pods of 30 together, divided on racial lines and from each other, demoralised by removal of incentives and opportunities for development, made sick with diseases and desperate for drugs, separated from their families, and undermined by arbitrary controls of everything that is important to them. Recidivist rates are 45% and rising. The public feels less safe. The budget has ballooned in failure. The law and order train has run off the rails out of control and presents the case for abolition.

 

Drugs and Prisons: Shooting for Harm Reduction
Kat Armstrong (Australia)

This talk will discuss the drug use in NSW prisons and how 75% of all people sent to prison are for drug related crimes. Highlighted will be that 20% of prisoners actually use drugs for the first time, whilst being in custody.

Recent research indicates there is about one chance in seven that an uninfected NSW prisoner will contact Hep C in prison, with upwards of 1,000 new infections behind that state’s bars every year. This indicates the significant need for the introduction of Needle Syringe Programs into prisons.

 

Tightening the Screws: Prisoners’ Action and the Offer of Hope
Kat Armstrong (Australia)

Prisoner’s showed their unpreparedness to accept inhumane treatment and rioted at Bathurst Jail in NSW in1974. Prisoners burned the jail to the ground and the prison was temporarily closed. This action forced the Nagle Royal Commission and it’s Report. It was then, and still is considered to be the blue print for the direction of Australian Prisons.

Regardless of this in the last 25 years prison authorities have increasingly dominated and reversed any positive change. The Offer of Hope represents a new and non-violent prisoner initiative, giving direction for the future.

 

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.