Media Release NSW Teachers Federation below. Also The Greens media release
Education for all including patients at Long Bay Hospital 15 July 2008
The NSW Teachers Federation calls on the Department of Corrective
Services to ensure that access to education programs at the new
Long Bay Hospital is not cut by half, and for the Minister for
Justice, John Hatzistergos, to legislate to give inmates in NSW the
right to education.
Maree O'Halloran, Federation President, said today:
"The Federation condemns the decision of the Department to cut
access to education programs at the new Long Bay Hospital to half
of what was previously provided. The new Long Bay Hospital has
purpose-built facilities in each ward to allow for the delivery of
such courses. All education staff should quite simply be
transferred from the old Long Bay Hospital to the new.
"It is not good enough that the patients at the hospital will be
locked down for long periods of the day and night. This is not the
way in which patients should be treated in the 21st century.
Education programs have been delivered with success at the Long Hay
Hospital for many years to assist patients and must continue.
"The 2008 Federation Annual Conference committed to continue the
campaign for legislative guarantees that give all inmates a right
to participate in a broad range of accredited education courses.
Inmates at all correctional centres, including the Long Bay
Hospital, should have the right to access education.
"The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights at article 26
Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be directed
to the full development of the human personality and to the
strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
This right has been reiterated many times in decisions of the
United Nations and its organisations and includes the right of
inmates to education.
"The Federation is aware that the UN Special Rapporteur on
education has chosen to present to the United Nations Human Rights
Council a report on the right to education for people in detention.
The report is to be presented in June 2009. The aim of the report
is to clarify the content of the right to education in places of
detention; to identify those with the principal responsibility for
its implementation and to highlight the most notable challenges
faced in that implementation. The report also will be gathering
examples of innovative approaches and lessons learnt to date and to
make recommendations as to how implementation might be improved.
"The Federation calls on the Minister for Justice, John
Hatzistergos, to legislate to give inmates in NSW the right to
education; to guarantee access and provision of programs consistent
with UN decisions and other innovations such as the recommendations
on prison education from the Council of Europe."
For further information contact:
Maree O'Halloran President
Peter de Graaff Corrective Services Organiser
Media and Communications Officer
NSW Teachers Federation
(02) 9217 2347
m 0407 424 806