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Analysis of the conflicting policies of social exclusion and community building, giving examples of how they apply in practice. This is a key to JA's work. Presented to the NSW Legislative Council 2009 as part of the campaign against the corporate privatisation for prisons. download

 

Prisons as Part of the Community download 
(below it is pasted in and includes references as part of the text)

 

Contents

Introduction p.3
What is a Community p.3
International initiatives for Social Inclusion 4
United Nations 4
United Kingdom 5
Australian Government Initiatives for Social Inclusion 5
Australian Federal Government Initiative 5
New South Wales Government Initiative for Social Inclusion 6
NSW State Government and the Prison Community 7
Unintended Consequences of Imprisonment
Family separation and break ups 9
Separation of children from their mothers 10
Institutionalisation 11
Substance abuse and poor health care 12
Mental Illness 14
Education services 16
Employment initiatives 17
Housing Assistance 18
Current examples of Government contradictions and community responses 20
Social Exclusion felt within Public Housing Estates 20
Social Exclusion within Prisons 23
Justice Action and Community Service Order Ban 24
Emu Plains visit restrictions 25
Justice Action representative ban from Emu Plains 27
Ban on Christmas Day Visits 27
Early lock-in time at Long Bay Prison Hospital 28
Refusal to allow Justice Action and NSW Nurses Association to attend tour of Long Bay Hospital for Upper House Inquiry 28
Access Restrictions to Education 30
Action 32
References 33

Introduction
“Social exclusion is...a short-hand term for what can happen when people or areas have a combination of linked problems,
such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime and family breakdown. These problems are linked and mutually reinforcing. Social Exclusion is an extreme consequence of what happens when people don’t get a fair deal throughout their lives, often because of disadvantage they face at birth. The disadvantage can be transmitted from one generation to the next. 1”


The community can be viewed as a safety net, one which, prevents its members from being harmed in any way. Ex-offenders are seen as a threat, and therefore they are excluded on purpose from joining the community. Significant developments in exclusion/inclusion theory have permeated much social thinking in Europe and the UK over the past 5 years2. This results in the recognition of the harm individuals and groups suffer when their human rights are ignored and they are structurally excluded from the community. Unfortunately those in prison and detention and under various orders tend to be among the most excluded, limiting their chances of being social included into a community. In order to be socially-included offenders need to contribute to social life in economic, social, psychological and political terms. However, to do this they require the personal capacity as well as the access to employment and other social roles.


Those with a mental disturbance, a drug problem, an intellectual disability, without social skills or education or employment prospects and without support, are just going to continue to cycle in and out of courts and prisons.
Following the decline of the welfare state or nanny-state, these individuals have nowhere to go. Communities and families are now expected to manage and support people with mental and intellectual disabilities and those
without employment skills. The resources to do this are very meagre and prison has become the default
institution for many such “difficult” people3.

 

What is a Community?
Traditionally a “community” has been defined as a group of interacting people living in a common location. In
which people are organised into a group around common values and social cohesion within a shared
geographical location. Each community interacts differently with authority figures as well as other communities.
However, with the rise of the Internet the concept of a community being confined to a geographical location no

 

(references are in the pasted text as here)

1 Merton, R & Bateman, J (2007) Social Inclusion: Its importance to mental health, Mental Health Coordinating Council
2 Baldry, E. & Maplestone, P. Barriers to Social and Economic Inclusion for those leaving prison, in Human Rights
Defender, no. 11, 2003
3 Baldry, E. & Maplestone, P. Barriers to Social and Economic Inclusion for those leaving prison

 

longer applies. People can now virtually gather in an online community around common interests no matter their
physical location.
Within these communities the members share a degree of social capital, which are a set of values and rules,
which binds the community together.
Frances Fukuyama describes social capital simply as “society’s stock of shared values,” to Robert Putnam it is
the “networks, norms, and trust that enable participants in a society to act together more effectively to pursue
shared objectives. Unlike other types of capital, which can decrease through use, social capital is depleted when
not used. Within our community networks and civic interaction there are two subtypes of social capital. Putnam
identified these subtypes as, bonding social capital, which refers to the value, assigned to social networks
between homogeneous groups of people and bridging social capital, which refers to that of social networks
between socially heterogeneous groups. Typical examples are that criminal gangs create bonding social capital,
while choirs and bowling clubs create bridging social capital. Bridging social capital is argued to have a host of
other benefits for societies, governments, individuals, and communities.
Many have argued that today’s society is lacking in social capital and that this is a major reason why the crime
rate has increase since the 1960s4.


International initiatives for Social Inclusion

United Nations
UN-HABITAT, The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, is mandated by the UN General Assembly
to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter
for all. The agency’s budget comes from four main sources. The vast majority in the form of contributions from
multilateral and bilateral partners for technical cooperation. It also receives earmarked contributions from
governments and other partners, including local authorities and foundations, and around 5% from the regular UN
budget.
Social Inclusion work targets those most vulnerable groups in society who find themselves marginalized. The
General Mainstreaming Unit of UN-HABITAT strives to broaden gender equality and women’s rights into all of
UN-HABITAT’s activities by supporting and strengthening gender awareness. Like the agency’s Partners and
Youth section, it works with local authorities, non-governmental organizations, youth groups, governments and
municipalities to promote better opportunities for those living on the margins of society.
4 Graycar, A. Crime and Social Capital, Australian Crime Prevention Council 19th Biennial International Conference on
Preventing Crime, Melbourne, 20th October, 1999
http://www.aic.gov.au/conferences/other/graycar_adam/1999-10-acpc99.pdf
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United Kingdom
The Social Exclusions Task force was set up in June 2006, based within the Cabinet Office, reporting to Liam
Byrne, Minister for the Cabinet Office. The task force endeavors to coordinate the Government’s drive against
social exclusion. Allowing for the cross-departmental approach delivers for those most in need. Championing the
needs of the most disadvantaged members of society within Government. Ensuring that as with the rest of the
public service reform agenda. The task force is committed to evidence-based policy-making, working together
with stakeholders and giving a voice to disadvantaged groups within governments. It is comprised of three
teams, families at Risk and Pilot team, performance, analysis and innovation team and stakeholder team.

 

Australian Government initiatives for Social Inclusion
Australian Federal Government Initiative
As an election commitment in order to highlight the disadvantage within the community, the Australian
Government has created the Ministry for Social Inclusion. Julia Guillard as Minister for Social Inclusion and
Ursula Stephens as the Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Prime Minister for Social Inclusion.
To be socially included, all Australians must be given the opportunity to: 5
- Secure a job;
- Access services;
- Connect with family, friends, work, person interests and local community;
- Deal with personal crisis; and
- Have their voices heard;
The government has established a Social Inclusion Committee of Cabinet, a Social Inclusion Unit in the
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Australian Social Inclusion Board in order to fulfill the
priorities mentioned below.
The early priorities for social inclusion have been identified as being:6
- Addressing the incidence and needs of jobless families with children
- Delivering effective support to children at greatest risk of long term disadvantage
- Focusing on particular locations, neighborhoods and communities to ensure programs and services are
getting to the right place
5 http://www.socialinclusion.gov.au/default.htm, last update unknown, 30/1/09
6 http://www.socialinclusion.gov.au/default.htm,
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- Addressing the incidence of homelessness
- Employment for people living with a disability or mental illness

 

The Federal government will provide $14.6 million over five years in order to establish the Social Inclusion Unit
in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. This unit will have a role in policy advice and coordination
of the Government’s social inclusion agenda, operating in conjunction with the new Social Inclusion Board7.
The Social Inclusion Board members bring a broad range of skills and experience to the Board, each had a
record of achievement in the private, public or non-for-profit sector. The members are, Patricia Faulkner (Chair),
Monsignor David Cappo (Vice Chair), Elleni Bereded-Samuel, Dr Ngiare Brown, Dr Ron Edwards, Ahmed
Fahour, Dr John Falzon, Kerry Graham, Eddie McGuire, Tony Nicholson, Dr Chris Sarra, Professor Fiona
Stanley, Professor Tony Vinson, and Linda White.
On 26th February 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the formation of a Social Inclusion Committee of
Cabinet, chaired by himself with the deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard as the Deputy Chair.
New South Wales Government Initiative for Social Inclusion
Released November 2006, the State Plan for NSW outlines 34 priorities and 60 targets, which are to be
addressed over the next ten years. The State Government initiatives emphasis the provision of early intervention
and prevention programmes for at-risk individuals and groups. They have developed a draft Prevention and
Early Intervention Policy Framework, which will be trialed over the next 12-18 months, to carry out the
requirements of the State Plan. This will embed the principles of prevention and early intervention in all
Government agencies.
The purpose of the NSW State Plan is to deliver better results for the NSW community from government
services8. This does not cover everything the state government does; efforts will be focused upon priorities in
order for improvement.
7Prime Minister and Cabinet: Election Commitments, http://www.budget.gov.au/2008-09/content/bp2/html/expense-21.htm
8http://www.nsw.gov.au/stateplan/index.aspx?id=76bf6dc0-229c-402e-8331-9bae2a6743be, last update 8/08/07,
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The State Plan focuses on five areas of activity of the NSW Government: 9
1. Rights, Respect and Responsibility - the justice system and services that promote community involvement
and citizenship.
2. Delivering Better Services – key services to the whole population including health, education and
transport.
3. Fairness and Opportunity – services that promote social justice and reduce disadvantage.
4. Growing Prosperity Across NSW – activities that promote productivity and economic growth,
particularly in rural and regional NSW
5. Environment for Living – planning for housing and jobs, environmental protection, arts and recreation.
NSW State Government and the Prison community
Within priority R2: Reduced re-offending, the state government will reduce the proportion of offenders who reoffend
within 24 months of being convicted by a court or having been dealt with at a conference by 10% by
2016.


Recent actions include an increase in supervision and support of offenders in an effort to reintegrate with the
community. Increasing the availability of transitional accommodation for offenders after release from custody on
community based order. And introducing a compulsory drug treatment program which will cater for 70 repeat
male offenders with long term illicit drug uses and constant imprisonment. Aiming to break the drug-crime
cycles and help these offenders take personal responsibility to lead productive crime- and drug-free lives. The
patterns of drug use within correctional centers have highlighted the importance for ensuring comprehensive
screening of inmates on entry by the corrective health service. The long-term goals are to identify a treatment
program to suit the needs of the individual and continued care on both reception to and release from the
correctional system.


Involving comprehensive drug and alcohol services incorporating:
- Detoxification Services;
- The Methadone Maintenance Program; and
- The Drug Court Program
In the 2007 update to the State Plan, Corrective Services said its initiatives to reduce reoffending included an
“Intensive Supervision Program” for released offenders, shifting the emphasis of psychologists’ services from
prison-based to community-based, and a Malabar-based residence, Balanda, which could house 70 indigenous
released inmates.
9 http://www.nsw.gov.au/stateplan/index.aspx?id=76bf6dc0-229c-402e-8331-9bae2a6743be
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However, a recent study from the Bureau of Crime Statistics is pessimistic about the department’s chances of
reducing re-offending10;
“The NSW State Plan promises to address these issues by providing better services for offenders on communitybased
orders and promoting greater inter-agency co-operation in their provision…these undertakings are
critical because…intensive supervision on its own does not reduce recidivism. Without improvements in the level
and type of treatment and support for offenders placed on community-based sentencing order, it will be very
difficult to achieve the State Plan goal of a 10% reduction in reoffending by 2016”

 

Unintended consequences of Imprisonment
Within the State Plan, requires the combination of rehabilitation and education in order to reduce the rate of reoffending
and social exclusion. At present, offenders carry the burden of being social excluded even though
specific policies have been created in order to achieve social inclusion. The actions of the NSW Corrective
Services contradict both the NSW State Plan policies and the federal social inclusion initiative.
“A serious attempt should be made to redirect resources from custodial to community-based resource. The
government and the department need to reduce their obsession with prison security and have more open and
minimum-security jails.11”
Professor David Brown

 

While prisoners are physically excluded from society, many would have experienced degrees of social exclusion
prior to imprisonment and will continue to experience social exclusion upon release12.

 

Family separation and break-up
The impact of a prison sentence is not only felt by the offender but also by family and the greater community.
Families face the full brunt of the economic costs as well as personal costs of a prison sentence. The strain of the
separation and loss of a reliable income can often lead to a family break up. If offenders are to achieve a
relatively stable lifestyle post-release, continued contact with family and friends is needed.
10 Knox, M & Tadros, E. Plan to arrest high rates of return, in The Sydney Morning Herald, December 8th, 2008
11 Knox, M & Tadros, E. Plan to arrest high rates of return
12 McPherson, T & Lyons, M. (date unknown) Towards Social Inclusion for Ex-offenders through Employment
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Research shows that prisoners have a lower rate of marriage including de facto relationships and a higher
proportions of individuals who have never been married.
For the family and friends of offenders, the separation can often result in limited or no contact for an extended
period of time. Families are often put off from visiting relatives, due to the lack of transport, inconvenient or
limited visiting hours and the poor conditions of the visiting areas. The majority of correctional centers in NSW
are in rural areas, a number of which are considerably difficult to access for those with limited transportation. On
arrival, family and friends are subject to complicated search and entry procedures, as well as an environment,
which is not very family friendly. Offering little by way of privacy or comfort or adequate facilities for children,
discouraging future visits.
At present there is a lack of consistent and timely entry information, without which visitors may not adhere to
rules and long hauls to prisons may be wasted because of a poor understanding of visitation procedures.

 

Separation of children from their mothers
The separation from families can often prove too strenuous leading to family break ups or disruption for the
children. If this does occur the children might be relocate or enter the care of the state. Research shows that
children are the unintended victims of a prison sentence. With many children of prisoners less likely to complete
secondary school and more likely to become homeless or unemployed and more likely to come into contact with
the juvenile justice or criminal justice systems. The likelihood of the children of an imprisoned parent ending up
in prison increases by 6 times, they are also six times as likely to have mental health problem.
The NSW upper house inquiry into children of prisoners reported13:
“Although the literature on controlling or reducing recidivism is dismal, the little literature that there is
suggests that maintaining community ties is absolutely essential in maintaining the bond between the prisoner
and his family…these bonds are central to any attempt to try and reduce recidivism”
The separation from children can be highly difficult for female offenders, resulting in long-term mental health
problems. At times it can be highly traumatizing for both mother and child to be separated for an extended
period of time. If no family is available to take care of the child, they can often become state wards increasing
their exposure to situations, which would result in prison sentences. By increasing the contact between mother
and child during the early stages of development the possibility of continued offending in later generations can
13 Beyond Bars: Alternatives to Custody, Fact Sheet 6: Are Prisons cost-effective?,
http://www.beyondbars.org.au/facts.htm
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be prevented. Research findings on the long-term effect of mother/infant separation and the effects of the shortterm
traumatic separation; show that separation has a long term and devastating effect on the child’s emotional,
physical and mental development.
From December 1981 until December 1996 no woman in the custody of NSW gaols was able to care for her
young child while serving a prison sentence14. The New South Wales Department of Corrective Services
endorsed the Women’s Action Plan in 1994 to address the issues of women in Prison. The recommendations
within this plan allowed for the
development of a program specifically orientated towards children and mothers who are servicing a prison
sentence.
The guiding principles of the Mothers and Children’s Program policy require that the program is in the best
interest of the child, and that imprisonment in itself is neither evidence of a mother’s lack of desire nor of her
ability to perform her parental duties. However, participation in the full time residence program is the option of
last resort, to be utilized where there are no satisfactory alternatives for placement of child or children
available15.
Much like the stigma faced by offenders post-release, the children of offenders can often face the same exclusion
from the community. It might be argued that children can experience the same long-term effects of the
separation as their parent, such as mental health issues, limited education as well as employment opportunities.

 

Institutionalisation
Due to the environment of prisons and other correctional facilities, many offenders have poor living skills. This
can increase the chances of re-offending in turn continuing the separation from family and friends. Programs
which untilise cognitive behavioral therapy are needed within prison to enhance the ability of offenders to reason
and problem solve, to anticipate the consequences of actions, and to develop alternate and appropriate ways of
coping with stressful situations allowing the offender to return to a stable lifestyle.
14 Loy, Madeleine, A Study of the Mothers and children’s program in the NSW Department of Corrective Services,
http://www.aic.gov.au/conferences/womencorrections/loy.pdf
15 Loy, Madeleine, A Study of the Mothers and children’s program in the NSW Department of Corrective Services
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73% of NSW offenders were given no information on accommodation or support pre-release16. By providing
detailed and easily accessible information about how to access government services and community support
systems. The transition from prison to home would avoid the frustration and difficulties of dealing with multiple
agencies in the community. If offenders were gradually taught to cope with the enhanced responsibility of daily
life post-release, they would be less likely to return to their previous lifestyle and the familiar environment of
prison. At present there are no pre-release facilities, which would allow offenders to adapt to a change in
environment, especially those who are close to finishing their sentences. There needs to be continued
participation in formal programs, and the provision of a level of structure and support in order to reduce the
chances of offenders being overwhelmed by the pressures of independent living.

 

Substance abuse and poor health care
In 2004 it was reported that each day 25 new prisoners entered the system requiring detoxification. The report by
NSW Corrections Health surveyed a sample of nearly 1000 inmates on remand and after sentencing in early
2001. It was found that two-thirds of newly received inmates and almost 40% of those who had been sentenced
were drug dependent, with heroin and opiates the most common drug17.
By addressing the alcohol and drug issues of offenders, it would be possible post-release to direct offenders
away from environments, which would encourage re-offending
“If the Government wants to reduce reoffending in the next five to 10 years they should provide drug treatment
and especially methadone maintenance treatment to all eligible people in the community and in prison.” 18
Kate Dolan, Associate Professor at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
16 Baldry, E. & Maplestone, P. Barriers to Social and Economic Inclusion for those leaving prison, in Human Rights
Defender, no. 11, 2003
17 Jacobsen, G. Prisons cannot handle drug and mental health burden, report says, Sydney Morning Herald, January 2nd,
2004
18 Knox & Tadro, Plan to arrest high rates of return
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The harm minimization approach within prisons in the 1980s and 1990s prevented a major outbreak of HIV in
the prison system. However, it did not stem the spread of another serious blood borne virus, Hepatitis C. This
virus can survive outside the body on microscopic speaks of blood and can withstand bleach sterilization. Within
the prison population of NSW, 40% of males and 64% of females are positive to Hepatitis C. Needle syringe
programs are shown to reduce Hep. C transmission by 80-90% among injecting drug users. One third of
Australia prisoners are estimated to be infected, rates are higher amongst women. There is about one chance in
seven that an uninfected NSW prisoner will contract Hep C in prison. With upwards of a 1000 new infections
appearing behind bars each year. If those infect are to be released into the community there is the high chance
that they could spread the disease further. The stigma of not only being an ex-offender but also being a drug user
can at times be too much to handle. The social exclusion is incredible high for these people within the
community. The state government owes a duty of care for these offenders, which can be achieved by allowing a
proper needle exchange program.
HIV rates are also consistently higher in the prison system then in the general community. Despite a 1996 study
of 14 recently released HIV positive prisoners, revealing seven prisoners contracted HIV in the prison system,
with 5 of these seroconversions genetically sourced to one prisoner. The prison system refuses to implement a
needle exchange program, despite their success in Switzerland and Germany. Or introduction of other schemes
such as allowing prisoner’s access to Narcotics Anonymous and expand methadone program access, particularly
for short sentences prisoners.
At present it might be argued that the NSW state government allowance of $130 million for assessing,
classifying and rehabilitating offenders is insufficient. In order to reduce the rate of re-offending more should be
given to rehabilitation programs in a community environment with the enhanced involvement from family and
friends. The state government appears to be ignoring their duty of care that is required to be given to all
prisoners.
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Section 16(1) Every prisoner shall be supplied at the public expense, with such medical attendance, treatment
and medicine as in the opinion of the medical officer is necessary for the preservation of the health of the
prisoner and of other prisoners and of prison officers, and may be so supplied with such medical attendance,
treatment and medicine as in the opinion of the Commissioner will alleviate or remedy congenital or chronic
condition which may be a hindrance to rehabilitation.

 

Mental illness
For offenders who suffer from mental illness or psychosis, NSW Corrective Services has previously
accommodated them within the prison hospitals. These establishments are unable to deal with the individual
nature of the medical treatment needed by these offenders. In order to cater for the needs of these individuals a
forensic hospital within the Long Bay Correctional Complex has been built. However, until these individuals are
processes and classified they remain within the restrictive and unproductive environments, which is typical of
the prison hospitals.
The mentally ill within the NSW prison system feel the social exclusion two-fold. These people have normally
been found to be so unfit that they have never been tried and therefore, have never been convicted of an offence.
Not only are they separated from the general public behind prison walls but they are now also being excluded
from the prison community.
The patients of the Long Bay Prison Hospital face a particularly harsh existence. Inmates are locked in their
2.5x3.5m cells for 18 hours a day, which is likely to exacerbate their psychotic symptoms. It costs $70,000 per
prisoner per year to incarcerate an individual. At $200,000 per patient per year the cost of confining forensic
patients is almost treble that amount.
Not only is this policy cruel and in humane, it also goes against a number of government regulations, procedures
and policies. Such as section 12.4 of the Department of Corrective Services Operation Procedure Manual,
section 153 of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Regulation 2001, the Mental Health Act 2007, and
article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that;
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
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Not only is this practice in direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, which Australia is a
signatory of, it also contradicts section 68 of the Mental Health Act 2007, which states that;
“People with mental illness or mental disorder should receive the best possible care and treatment in the least
restrictive environment enabling the care and treatment to be effectively given.”
It has been noted that the number of serious incidents have declined. By this logic the Minister would argue that
all prisoners should be locked in their cells for 24 hours a day and thereby reduce the number of serious incidents
to zero. However, confinement must be balanced with periods outside of cells and interaction with other human
beings as part of the rehabilitation.
The treatment of forensic patients is fundamentally a means of reducing staffing costs and is not humane nor an
improvement in treatment. Prior to 2nd, April 2008, patients were not confined to their cells until 9pm; the new
lock-in time of 3:30pm has been in force for almost 11 months. This is the result of the removal of 28 guards
from Long Bay, a clear cost-cutting exercise. Resulting in the failure of Corrective Services to acknowledge and
abide the duty of care that is the patients’ due.
By continuing the early lock-in regime, NSW Corrective Services are not only exacerbating the prison
experience. But they are continuing the suffering of the patients, limiting rehabilitation as well as increasing the
potential for re-offending post-release.
Amongst the prison population there is a higher level of mental illness then in the general community. This
severally disadvantages offenders in terms of interacting with justice officials pre- and post-release. The needs of
these offenders are often unmet because of difficulties associated with identifying these individuals. As well as
the limited availability of services in correctional centers to deal with these individualised needs. The limited
ability of these offenders’ social networks to assist in dealing with their offending in turn resulting in higher
levels of recidivism.
“We’re find that these people, compare with non-mentally ill in the system, have higher numbers of convictions
but shorter sentence, and are the ones cycling in and out of jail” 19
Associate Professor Eileen Baldry
19 Knox & Tadro, Plan to arrest high rates of return
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These offenders often come from socially disadvantaged backgrounds including poor education and high rates of
unemployment, resulting in high levels of homelessness post-release. Corrective Services should take note of the
case management model of service delivery within the mental health system, this is seen a being particularly
effective with mentally disordered or developmentally challenged offenders.

 

Education services
Various sources suggest that although offenders are as likely as the broader population to have attended school,
however they seem far less likely to have completed senior high school. Research untaken by professor Tony
Vinson in 1995 showed that about 85% of inmates left school in year 10 or below20. The low educational level is
more pronounced in those who have had prior prison experiences than those without, with at least 65% of
inmates entering the correctional system with low to non-functional literacy, numeracy and communication
skills. A met-analysis of mostly US studies, examining custodial work programs, education and vocational
training showed lower average recidivism and higher average employment rates for participants relative to nonparticipants.
“Research indicates a correlation between low levels of literacy, low economic status and imprisonment”21
As stated within two annual reports from the NSW Department of Corrective Services
At present, NSW Corrective Services allow a number of AEVTI and NSW TAFE courses and other special
programs such as a Mobile Outreach Program in their correctional centers. All courses are nationally accredited
and each education center has a library, including either a law library or provision of assistance with legal
matters. However this is not mandatory, and in many correctional centers the opportunity to participate in course
and to access libraries has been severely impacted upon by lockdowns22. There is also no legislative basis to the
claim that inmates have a right to participate in education programs. There is no statutory guarantee of the
provision of education and vocational training programs, including libraries and access to legal resource and
reference materials in NSW. Nor do inmates currently have a statutory right to participate in education and
vocational training programs, or to access libraries and resources.
20 De Graaff, P. Imprisoning the future, The New South Wales Teachers Federation, June 2002
http://www.nswtf.org.au/edu_online/34/imprison.html
21 De Graaff, P. NSW Corrections Education Campaign, in “The Australian TAFE Teacher, Winter 2005
http://www.aeufederal.org.au/Publications/TATT/Win05pp24-25.pdf
22 De Graaff, P. (date unknown) NSW Corrections Education Campaign,
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If offenders are given the opportunity to complete a level of vocational training this might allow for stable
employment post-release. However, post-release monitoring would be required to ensure that offenders are
continually going to interviews and work, and not returning to criminal activity for an income.

 

Employment initiatives
Post-release offenders find the burden of the stigma attached to being an ex-con, can result in limited
employment opportunities. Australian research indicates that having employment and being a student is a
significant factor in staying out of prison and it is argued that there is a direct link between offenders’
employment opportunities and their mental health. The stigma of being an unemployed offender can often
severely and sometimes permanently damage offenders’ progress post-release.
The lack of employment opportunities may be limited by an inability for the offender to access adequate hosing,
low levels of education and poor literacy. Correctional Interventions designed to promote post-release
employability will need to account for aspects of the prisoner that are linked to unemployment e.g. housing as
well as initiative that can combat the unspoken discrimination of potential employers.
A Victorian government research has shown that there is an over representation of people with intellectual
disabilities and acquired brain injuries, mental illness, 3-4 time higher, in prison population than in the general
community.
In order to combat the unemployment rate amongst offenders, the Victorian government has implemented a
number of initiatives.
The Corrections Long Term Management Strategy;
Reduce the incidence of recidivism and assist prisoners and offenders to adopt and maintain law-abiding
lifestyles by assisting them in to a range of pre-release and/or community-based diversion programs.
The Correctional Services Employment Pilot Program;
Reduce the cycle of re-offending by providing real employment outcomes for prisoners and offers.
The JOBFutures/CSEPP initiatives are funded to provide, vocational advice and training in prisons and
community, assistance with job search and placement, post placement support to client and employer when
appropriate, and support and advice to client to ensure long-term employability. Of those who are registered in
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the program as of 8th June 2004 only 105 or 4.7% re-offended. Compared to the rate of reoffending by those who
had a placement through the initiatives, only 26 or 3.8% re-offended.

 

Housing assistance
Although there are service provisions that include housing for ex-prisoners in NSW, the lack f a comprehensive
policy framework within which these programs can operate makes it difficult for prisoners to access housing
services23. Post-release, offenders can find themselves in a situation where there is limited to no access to
affordable accommodation. Many lose accommodation or housing due to imprisonment, resulting in
homelessness on release from custody. This is a common occurrence of offenders who end up back in prison.
At present the Department of Public Housing and community housing providers have no prisoner specific
projects. Of the community housing providers listed in Meehan’s report only one reported having any prisoner
specific projects. Furthermore, only one of these had a policy of sending information about their housing
services to the local prisons unless it was specifically requested24.
The limited information available hints at higher levels of unstable housing i.e. no fixed address, hostels, refuges
or shelters, and lower levels of accommodation in private dwellings among prior prisoners when compared with
first time prisoners or those who have never been imprisoned. In 2002/03 the Australian Housing and Urban
Research Institute undertook a study exploring prisoners’ post-release housing circumstance, social integration
and connections with re-offending.
They identified three factors as being significant in participants’ staying out of prison:
1. Having relatively stable accommodation;
2. Living with parents, partner or close family;
3. Having employment or being a student; and
4. Having access to ‘helpful’ agencies.
Placement of offenders into stable accommodation upon release requires close cooperation between corrections,
public housing services and private housing providers25. To ensure that services are timely, offenders should
23 Meehan, A. (2002) Report on pre and post-release housing services for prisoners in NSW,
http://communityhousing.org.au/Publications/Reports_by_Fed/Full_Rpts/Research%20Reports/prisoners%20report.pdf
24 Meehan, A. (2002) Report on pre and post-release housing services for prisoners in NSW,
25 Borzycki, M. Interventions for Prisoners Returning to the Community; A Report prepared by the Australian Institute of
Criminology for the Community Safety and Justice Branch of the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department.
February, 2005
- 18 -
have access to information and assistance relevant to their community of return before release. If possible it
would be more appropriate for short-term prisoners to maintain existing accommodation as well as connecting
prisoners to housing assistance or the provision of affordable housing. The Victorian Government program
should be used to inform policy and program development in NSW.
“The Victorian Government’s Transitional Housing management (THM) – Correctional housing Pathway
initiative is a collaborative pilot initiative providing dedicated public, transitional housing or assistance in
obtaining housing, and appropriate support services for ex-offenders. Housing placement workers who assess
the risk of homelessness coordinates this and other needs pre-release, and if necessary aim to maintain housing
already held by short-term prisoners.” 26
Prisoners, forensic detainees, ex-prisoners and people on remand are eligible for assistance from the NSW
Department of Housing, however they must meet Housing NSW’s eligibility criteria. During their sentence
prisoner’s can apply for public housing and remain on the housing register while they are in prison, as long as
Housing NSW knows about their situation. If offenders are already in possession of a Housing NSW property,
assistance can be given to the tenant in order to make arrangements for their tenancy while they are absent.
However, in order to keep the property while they are absent offenders must reassure Housing NSW that the rent
will be paid, the water usage charges will be paid, the property will be looked after, and there is a good reason
for going away. It is more then likely that none of the above criteria will be met during an absence or
imprisonment. The Housing NSW website does not list imprisonment as one of the reasons for an extended
absence.
26 Borzycki, M. Interventions for Prisoners Returning to the Community
- 19 -
Current examples of Government contradictions and community response

 

The Social exclusion felt within Public Housing Estates
In an earlier study, Community Adversity and Resilience, Professor Tony Vinson believed that the
neighbourhood in which you live makes a difference, particularly in early childhood and adolescence27. This
study found that a small proportion of the areas surveyed, 587 postcodes in NSW, accounted for a large
proportion of reported problems. 1 in 4 unemployed people in NSW lived in just 5% of the postcodes, while 1 in
4 admissions to prison each year came from about 3% of the postcodes28.
In Vinson’s’ 2004 study, Dropping off the Edge, 2.1% of Victoria’s postcodes and only a slightly larger fraction
in NSW account for 25% of al those who go to jail in the course of a year29. The survey of NSW and Victoria
revealed that poverty and disadvantage are entrenched in particular regions. Vinson ranked suburbs by indicators
of socio-economic disadvantage, including low family income, unemployment, criminal convictions, disabilities,
lack of school qualifications, child abuse and limited computer access. Professor Vinson said his findings;
“Demand recognition of a common pattern associated with inadequate education and training, unemployment,
low income, poor health and ‘making ends meet’ by criminal means, resulting in high rates of convictions and
imprisonment.30”
In large scale research funded by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institutes, of approximately 350
people being released from prison in NSW and Victoria were interviewed pre-release, and then at 3,6 and 9
months post-release. Baldry and Maplestone mention the results in the article Barriers to Social and Economic
inclusion for those leaving prison. At the time of publication only 60% of participants had been interviewed.
However, the findings indicated that 34% has been dependent on public or assisted housing prior to
imprisonment.
Following disturbances in the Villawood public housing estate in 1995 there has been considerable speculation
in NSW about the role which public housing estate design plays in influencing crime. However, the problems
faced in the Villawood estate are not uncommon, crime problem have also appeared from time to time on other
NSW housing estates, the most recent disturbance occurring in the first week of January 2009 on the
27 Author Unknown, Pick neighbours with care: it may determine your chances, in The Sydney Morning Herald, March 9th,
2004
28 Author Unknown, Pick neighbours with care: it may determine your chances
29 Transcript: Postcodes and Poverty on National Interest, ABC Radio National, 14 March, 2004
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/nationalinterest/stories/2004/1063666.htm
30 Macdonald, E. Hidden Battlers in ACT Suburbs, in The Canberra Times, 27th February, 2007
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/hidden-battlers-in-act-suburbs/232556.aspx
- 20 -
Rosemeadow estate in south west Sydney. The unemployment rate at Rosemeadow is 7.9% compared with the
national average of 5.2%
The key reasons behind the high crime rate of these areas is first the overall design of the areas and second the
socio-economic demographic of the residents. Unfortunately, both play a role in the social exclusion felt by the
occupants from the general community.
Many public housing estates in NSW conform to the Radburn design principle. This features dwellings facing
each other around an open grassy space; vehicles are confined to the backs of the dwellings, which are linked to
each other by pedestrian walkways and paths. The design is thought to encourage neighbourly interaction and
allow for greater safety of children in communal areas. However, it is now thought that the design in fact causes
crime problems because it creates opportunities for crime. Rather then the open space being ‘communal’ it is
said to become a threatening ‘no-man’s’ land. Residence cannot effectively ‘police’ their territory because its
limits are not clearly marked, while rear access to cars and garages, hidden behind high fences, makes informal
surveillance very difficult31. Such estates are recognisable different from surrounding neighbourhoods, making
them easy targets for community criticism and stigmatisation of residents.
As suggested above the socio-economic demographic of the residents, might also result in the high crime rates of
these communities. For example, young unemployed persons are both more at risk of involvement in crime and
more at risk of becoming victims. Estates tend to have higher proportions of such people for the simple reason
that public housing is targeted at hose who are most in need.
A majority of public housing estates in NSW were built during a time when the social profile of public estates
did not differ significantly from other low to middles income areas32. Compared to a 1996 NSW Department of
Housing report, which stated that 95% of public tenants depend on social benefits of some kind for their income.
Further evidence now suggests that there is a considerable gap between the poorest and richest urban areas, as
well as the emergence of geographically distinct ‘ghettos’ characterised by low socio-economic status33.
By allowing the gap between suburbs and economic groups to widen, the state government is increasing the
social exclusion felt within the lower economic areas.
The high crime rates within estates are a result of the economic status of the community as well as the overall
design of the areas.
31 Matka, E. (1997) Public Housing and Crime in Sydney, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research,
http://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/bocsar/ll_bocsar.nsf/vwFiles/R41.pdf/$FILE/R41.pdf
32 Matka, E. (1997) Public Housing and Crime in Sydney
33 Gregory, R.G & Hunter, B. (1995) The Macro Economy and the Growth of the Ghettos and Urban Poverty in Australia,
Centre for Economic Policy Research, Australian National University, Discussion Paper, No. 325
- 21 -

 

Social exclusion within Prisons
Imprisonment is the most extreme form of social exclusion, in that it removes people physically, mentally and
emotionally from society, their community and family34. Findings now show that there is a link between
inadequate education and training, employment opportunities, low income, poor health and criminal activity.
The increase in disadvantage can have harmful consequences for the individuals and families affected by crime,
which can spill over to the next generation.
The same argument used for the high crime rate within public housing estates can be used in regards to the rate
of re-offending within the NSW Prison system.
The design of Prisons confirms the reality that offenders are being physically separated and restricted from
contact with their families and friends as well as the general community. Evidence suggests that this is not an
effective way of dealing with re-offending; this is recognized by justice authorities who implement pre and post
release strategies to assist prisoners to become socially included on release in a bid to reduce the likelihood of
them re-offending35.
Many offenders have limited education, which results in limited employment opportunities. At times, criminal
activity is thought to be the only way out of the cycle. However, if no rehabilitation or training is available or
undertaken during the prison sentence post-release the cycle of re-offending all too often continues.
From the perspective of the media, government and general community the degree of social capital within the
public housing estates and Prisons of New South Wales is considerably low. However, within these communities
there is potential all that is required is appropriate forms of rehabilitation to ensure that these individuals
incorporated into the general community post-release.
With the intended consequences of deterrence and retribution and high economic costs current government
policies appear to have little to no effect on the rate of re-offending.
They do not all for effective management of the personal and professional set backs, of offenders post-release.
By addressing the educational and training difficulties and alcohol and substance abuse problems of offenders
whilst serving their sentences. The positive consequences can flow on into the families and communities.
34 McPherson, T & Lyons, M. (date unknown) Towards Social Inclusion for Ex-offenders through Employment
http://www.paccoa.com.au/2005%20Conference%20PDF%20files/Tracey.McPherson.Toward%20social%20inclusion.doc.
pdf
35 McPherson, T & Lyons, M. Towards Social Inclusion for Ex-offenders through Employment
- 22 -

 

Justice Action and Community Service Order Ban
Much like the ban enforced on a member of Justice Action in regards to visiting the Emu Plains correctional
facility. The withdrawal of Justice Action’s agency status by the Department of Corrective Services is an
example of how the department is attempting to exclude the prisoner support community.
However, in 2006 this was stopped for spurious reasons. This ban is surprising, since Justice Action had had the
same status for 24 years. In which Justice Action became known as a leader in the field. It is argued that the
reason behind the ban is primarily due to the possibility that CSO workers will have contact with ex-offender.
“The principal reason Breakout was not approved for re-accreditation was the change to accreditation
procedures adopted state-wide for community services orders. These changes have included greater scrutiny of
agencies’ aims, objectives and legal status, the nature of the work to be performed and the type and level of
supervision of workers performing work at the CSO sites.”
Brian Norman, Director Community Offender Services, Newtown District Office
One of Mr Normans’ concerns was that CSO workers would be in contact with ex-offenders.
“Association by persons with criminal records is usually a factor which increases propensity to re-offend and
we have to weigh up these risks against any possible benefits to be gained from particular placements36”.
By continuing the policy of imprisonment, ex-offenders will continue to feel social excluded from the
community. By allowing the interaction between to two groups, CSO workers can have an insight into the
possibilities and opportunities for a successful rehabilitation.

 

Emu Plain visit restrictions
Continued interaction with family, especially children as mentioned above can allow for a successful release
back into the community after imprisonment. However, the actions of the Department for Corrective Services
contradict their desire to allow for successful inclusion and integration back into the community. Not only have
Christmas Day visits been banned but also in May 2006 the department withdrew the traditional all-day visits for
the women of the Emu Plains Correctional Center. Amendments to the policy were made; future visits were to
be split into two parts, with a break between 11:30-12:30, allowing visitors to have lunch. This initiative
overlooked the fact that visitors were already having lunch with the prisoners. All future visits would also
36 Letter from Brain Norman, Director Community Offender Services to Brett Collins, Justice Action, Re: CSO
Accreditation, 9th September, 2008
- 23 -
require visitors to call and pre-book visits, which would be limited to two hours. Not only was face-to-face
contact limited, the amount of phone contact has also been restricted. Previously the limit was 15 minutes with a
5-minute ban between calls, now calls are being limited to 6 minutes, with a 30-minute ban between calls. The
Inmate Development Committee representing the women was told that “the change to visits is a trial to bring this
prison into line with other prisons, and no further discussion will be entered into about it.
The state government argues that the policies they are implementing have the best intentions for the offenders.
However, by allowing continued separation from children in particular they are exacerbating the experience. It is
argued that prisons are not a place for children, however over seas experiences show that it is possible to easy
the anxiety felt by offenders if they are allowed to bring their children with them.
In the Spanish prison in the town of Aranjuez, located 40km south of Madrid there are 36 cell units available for
families. At present 16 are occupied. The idea behind this practice is for children to bond with their imprisoned
parents while young enough not to fully grasp the reality of incarceration and for inmates seeking rehabilitation
to learn parenting skills. However, children are only allowed to stay with their parents until they are three. At
this point they are returned to either relatives or into the care of the state.
“No one thinks it is an ideal situation — not the prison psychologist, nor the imprisoned parents themselves. But
the arrangement beats the pain of separation37”.
Denmark also allows for children to remain with their parents during a sentence. However, this practice also
allows for partners to stay together. In the mixed sex jail, couples – with or without children – spend the day
together in a special wing but they are locked up at night in separate cells. With the children spending the night
with the mother. Not only does this practice take into account the bond between mother and child and its
significance to the rehabilitation process. But it also recognizes that partners can also increase the success of
rehabilitation.
Both Spain and Australia allow for children to remain with their mother until a certain age. However, in Bolivia
children are allowed to stay much longer. The country’s legislation allows children less than 6 years of age to
stay in their parents’ cells.
37 The Associated Press, Spanish prison offers family cell units for inmates with children, in International Herald Tribune
Europe, February, 5th 2007
www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/05/europe/EU-FEA-GEN-Spain-Families-in-Prison.php
- 24 -
Mr. Molina, the head of Bolivia’s penitentiary system, acknowledges that they remain in jail until they are much
older “because nobody else can care for them.”
This practice occurs in a number of Bolivian prisons, including the male prisons. In the detention centre of San
Pedro, the most populated male prison in Bolivia’s main city La Paz, there are 200 children. All children within
the prisons receive meals and education under a government-sponsor programme. Humanitarian groups also
supervise them.
It might be argued that this practice is not occurring primarily due to the stress caused by the separation.
However, the children appear to be safer with their parents, they are less likely to become state wards or
homeless. This in turn might prevent them from turning to crime.
The NSW government policy of separating family members seriously contradicts the notion that at the heart of a
community is the family unit. By keeping the family unit relatively intact, they are encouraging social inclusion
and increasing social capital.

 

Justice Action representative ban from Emu Plains
This is an example of how on a micro level prison management endeavors to restrict community involvement
and social inclusion.
On 5 August 2006, a member of Justice Action visited a prisoner at Emu Plains. He spoke with other visitors and
gave them copies of the leaflet. Five days later, he was informed that that he would be banned from the prison
for two years for “fomenting disharmony and conflict,” “causing dissension” and “confrontation,” “inciting
visitors by the misleading, inaccurate and uninformed handouts,” and ignoring the fact that he had “been warned
on numerous occasions.” When he asked when the supposed previous warnings had occurred, and how exactly
his document was inaccurate, he was told that a “semantic discussion” would not be entered into38.

 

Ban on Christmas Day visits
“Visits to inmates in New South Wales correctional centers are important for maintaining strong family
relationships. They also assist in making it easier for people to readjust to life in the community when they are
released.”
Department of Corrective Services, NSW
38Justice Action, Emu Plain Visits: Intimidation of Prisoners and Families
http://www.justiceaction.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=229&Itemid=107 last update unknown
- 25 -
As of 2007, the NSW Department of Corrective Services stopped Christmas Day visits. On 18th November 2008,
Corrective Services Chaplain, Rev Rod Moore, said that visits were to be returned; however on 1st December, he
said that for some unexplained reason, the Commissioner had reversed the decision. Around, 3000 children,
mothers, fathers, wives and husbands and friends of prisoners will suffer the consequences of this decision.
The ban also conflicts with the UN imposed obligations on state authorities to ensure that a child’s contact with
their imprisoned parents is possible, Article 2(2) Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The ban on visits has received strong opposition from Church groups, including Bishop Manning from the
Diocese of Parramatta and the Conference of Leaders of Religious Institute.

 

Refusal to allow Justice Action and the NSW Nurses Association to attend tour of Long Bay
Hospital for the Upper House Inquiry

In late December 2008, the Minister for Justice Hatzistergos rejected the Law and Justice Committee members
requests for the Nurses Association and Justice Action to join the Parliamentary inspection as expert advisers.
This leaves the mental patients to speak for themselves with guards present, despite the immense experience
offered by both independent organisations. This is a blatant example of how the state government is intent on
separating the community support networks and offenders. In turn continuing the social exclusion felt by
offenders.

 

Early lock-in time at the Long Bay Prison Hospital
Evidence highlights the contradiction that the NSW State Government believes that an early lock-in of 3:30pm is
preferred by the patients.
The NSW Greens have received a petition from 41 inmates of the hospital asking for an end to the regime, which
has been called inhumane, barbaric and maddening. This practice goes against the assertion by the Minister and
others from Corrective Services that the patients prefer the regime. It also goes against the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the Mental Health Act 2007 and section 153 of the Crimes
(Administration of Sentences) Regulation 2001.
Reports have also been sent to the Greens, stating that the consumption of Valium by patients has increase
within the hospital, presumably as a way of coping with the stresses of the longer lock-ins and consequent
aggravation of symptoms39. During a briefing of the crossbench last year a representative of the NSW Nurses
39 Parliament of New South Wales Legislative Council, Long Bay Correctional Complex Hospital Lock-in Hours, 13th
November 2008, last update 24/11/08
- 26 -
Association spoke of the increased use of medication and sedation at Long Bay. Confirming the reports received
by the Greens that this is a direct result of the lock-ins.
The change to the lock-in times has also had impact on the rehabilitation of the patients. Health professional in
particular psychiatric nursing staff from the NSW Nurses Association believes the lock-in regime is detrimental
to these inmates, resulting in daily work being constantly undone. There is clinical evidence of the deleterious
impact of seclusion on mentally ill people.
David Crosbie, Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Council of Australia, believes that the new regime
goes against the state governments duty of care with regards to prisoners with a mental illness, in fact causing
exacerbation and/or prolongation of their illness40. The General Secretary of the NSW Nurses Association, Brett
Holmes, confirms this belief, stating that;
“It is neither safe nor humane to detain and isolate mentally ill persons for prolonged periods. There is a wealth
of evidence that indicates isolating mentally ill persons exacerbates their symptoms and increases their risk of
harm. They require human contact and interaction to improve their mental health.”41
Forensicare, which is the peak government forensic mental health authority in Victoria, has also outlined the
impact of isolation on someone suffering from mental illness.
…Important element in coping with their active psychotic symptoms is the interaction both with mental health
staff and with other custodial staff and fellow prisoners. Left to themselves the delusion and the hallucinatory
experiences become the sole way in which they understand and experience the world. They lose both the reality
checks provided by everyday social interactions and the opportunity to obtain some kind of therapeutic
assistance through interactions with trained professionals. The effect of this over any lengthy period is to
potentially drive them further and further into their psychotic state…42
Professor Paul Mullen, the Clinical Director of Forensicare, 13th May 2008
The early lock-in policy is the direct result of Corrections staffing issues, involving the removal of 28 guards.
The effect of this cost-cutting is confirmed by the NSWNA, General secretary Brett Holmes, who said the union
viewed the early lockdown as a cost cutting exercise, giving rise to serious concerns for the mental and physical
well-being of patients and preventing nurses from giving adequate care.
40 Parliament of New South Wales Legislative Council, Long Bay Correctional Complex Hospital Lock-in Hours, 13th
November 2008, last update 24/11/08
41 Parliament of New South Wales Legislative Council, Long Bay Correctional Complex Hospital Lock-in Hours
42 Parliament of New South Wales Legislative Council, Long Bay Correctional Complex Hospital Lock-in hours
- 27 -
The Assistant Commissioner of Corrective Services Luke Grant told the ABC in June 2008, that the decision
was “not based entirely on economic rationale” but that “high levels of agitation and adverse incidents occurring
in the afternoons,” and surveys alleging some prisoners preferred the “quiet time” in their cells, has led to the
decision. This quiet time involved shouting through windows, ganging on doors and banging heads against the
walls, which is watched by the nurses who are unable to do anything on CCTV screens. This practice is
detrimental not only to the rehabilitation of the patients but also the moral of the nurses.

 

Access restrictions to education
It is all very well for the courses to be available, however offenders might still be restricted from attending them
due to the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act, which requires offenders to demonstrate a willingness to
participate in rehabilitation and development programs to bodies such as the Parole Board and Serious Offenders
Review Council. However, neither the Act nor the Regulations guarantee that education and vocational training
will be provided to inmates. The Regulations outline a range of delivery, but state that provision is limited to
what the Commissioner ‘may’ provide for, rather then what the Commissioner ‘shall’ provide for in the way of
education and vocational training programs.
“Each correctional centre offers a wider range of education and vocational training courses. Basic courses
include reading, writing, maths, computers art and craft. Inmates who are Aboriginal or from a non-English
speaking backgrounds can undertake courses in culture and English language. Additional vocational education
and training is available in a number of work skill areas with support from Corrective Services Industries”
2004 Inmate Handbook published by the Department of Corrective Services
Education has also been recognized as an important part of the rehabilitation processes for offenders especially
those who suffer from mental illness. The Iemma government of NSW has halved access to education programs
available for the offenders in the new Department of Corrective Services forensic hospital at Long Bay. Even
though the new Long Bay Hospital has purpose-built facilities in each ward to allow for the delivery of courses.
The halving of access to education programs is seen as being a poor attempt to lower to costs of the hospital.
Both the NSW Teachers Federation and the Greens have condemned this move.
- 28 -
John Kaye, NSW Greens MP, described the move as a callous attack on human rights saying;
“Education is a core component of rehabilitation. The loss of access to programs will leave inmates with a
greatly reduced chance of recovering.43”
Apart from being a breach of Australia’s human rights obligation, Kaye argues that by cutting the education
program the government will drive up long-term costs as;
“The number of inmates who are able to leave the forensic hospital will be reduced as recovery from mental
illness is impeded44.”

 

Action

Paper as part of the JA presentation to the Legislative Council on the public/community model, as
different than the corporate private sector model
43 Smith, K. Long Bay education slashed, The Richmond Fellowship, Green Left online, 26 July, 2008
http://www.rfnsw.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=228&Itemid=177
44 Smith, K. Long Bay education slashed, The Richmond Fellowship, Green Left online, 26 July, 2008
http://www.rfnsw.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=228&Itemid=177
- 29 -


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Clennell, A. Rosemeadown a failure: minister, in The Sydney Morning Herald, January 13th, 2009
Findlay, M. Being ‘tough on crime’ does not pay, in The Sydney Morning Herald, January 9th, 2009
Knox, M & Tadros, E. Plan to arrest high rates of return, in The Sydney Morning Herald, December 8th, 2008
Macdonald, E. Hidden Battlers in ACT Suburbs, in The Canberra Times, 27th February, 2007
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/hidden-battlers-in-act-suburbs/232556.aspx
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New South Wales Nurses Association, Health Chief Backs Nurses Over Lockdown, 8th October 2008,
http://www.nswnurses.asn.au/news/15755.html
New South Wales Government, New South Wales State Plan – a new direction for NSW; Priority R2, last update
8/08/07
http://www.nsw.gov.au/stateplan/index.aspx?id=76bf6dc0-229c-402e-8331-9bae2a6743be,
New South Wales Nurses Association, Health Chief Backs Nurses Over Lockdown, 8th October, 2008
http://www.nswnurses.asn.au/news/15755.html
Smith, K. Long Bay education slashed, The Richmond Fellowship, Green Left online, 26 July, 2008
http://www.rfnsw.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=228&Itemid=177
http://www.socialinclusion.gov.au/default.htm, last update unknown, 30/1/09
- 32 -
Other
Transcript: Postcodes and Poverty on National Interest, ABC Radio National, 14 March, 2004
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/nationalinterest/stories/2004/1063666.htm
Letter from Brain Norman, Director Community Offender Services to Brett Collins, Justice Action, Re: CSO
Accreditation, 9th September, 2008

 

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