The High Risk Management Unit
A request for an independent inspection team to examine the 75-cell HRMU at Goulburn Jail - to assess the nature and conditions in the unit and compare them to the social alternative. At the very least reassure the public that conditions in the HRMU are humane.
The proposed inspection team consists of specialist doctors, jurists, members of the Corrections Health Service Consumer Council and prisoners representatives.
Saturday, 15 May 2004 JA took a delegation of concerned citizens to Goulburn jail to demand the inspection go ahead.
Click here to read the media release from 14 May 2004
RIOT ACT READ AGAINST INSPECTION TEAM
Inspection of Terror Unit, the HRMU, on Saturday May 15.
The secrecy of the unit holding several people charged with terrorist offences here in Australia was confirmed during an attempted community inspection by a delegation from Justice Action. The delegation comprised four women and two men.
Abusive treatment of prisoners in the unit has been reported over a long time, and is consistent with the behaviour to prisoners held in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
The gates into the HRMU were blocked by over twenty five armed police. The Inspectors in charge, Greg Jago and Alan Whitten said access to the institution was being denied.
We read out the statements of Senator Kerry Nettle of the Australian Greens and Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans of the Australian Democrats over a loud hailer, carrying the messages into the prison.
We asked the Corrective Services representative "Steve" who wouldn't give his surname or rank to take a message into the prisoners, expressing our concerns. He refused. He said that he was concerned for the safety of visitors' children, although all visitors congratulated us for our effort, and took our leaflets.
The police then moved into us trying to pull down our banners. They read a declaration commonly called the "Riot Act" which entitled them to "disperse" us if we were causing "unlawful physical violence to persons or unlawful damage to property." We were doing nothing like that and had expressed our solidarity with the police to prevent the violence happening inside the prison.
We left and were stopped outside the city for a "random" breath test by an unmarked police car with two cops in riot gear.
Letter of Solidarity from Greens Senator Kerry Nettle
Letter of Support from Arthur Chesterfield-Evans MP and
the Australian Democrats
For background information please click on the links below.
Letter in support from Lee Rhiannon
Letter in support from Aden Ridgeway
Letter in support from Kerry Nettle
OFFER TO MINISTER