Media Release October 28, 2015
“Six prisoners on total life sentences never to be released have written submissions to the NSW Legislative Council in response to an Inquiry into current practices for determining the Security Classification and Management of Prisoners Sentenced to Life Imprisonment. There will be public hearings on the matter on the 23rd and 27th of November,” said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.
“Minister Elliott has proposed to the Inquiry the punishment and exclusion of prisoners more severe than ever before. The proposal is to lock them up under deliberately destructive, high security conditions for the rest of their lives, denying them access to rehabilitation services that could help them learn and improve. It would reduce them to the status of ‘living dead’,” said Mr Collins.
“His proposal would breach many basic principles of our community including the Rule of Law, the philosophy of hope, the authority of the court, the potential for reconciliation, the right to development and the privacy of victims. It is disgraceful wedge politics for which he must be condemned" said Mr Collins.
“The Inquiry was established following the exposure by A Current Affair of a victim’s anger at the offender’s reclassification. Under media attention, Minister Elliott revoked that classification and those of all other total lifers. But the Government’s real attitude to victims was exposed when in 2013 it reduced victim compensation payments such as for sexual assault from $50,000 to $15,000. The Baird Government is politicising grief, legitimising vengeance and abandoning compassion for not only victims and offenders but for the whole community,” said Mr Collins.
Comments: Brett Collins 0438 705 003