Request to Return to Nowra – Still No Action Despite Victory: November 2016

Another win for Malcolm Baker on the 24th July 2016, before the Mental Health Review Tribunal, supported by barrister Ben Fogarty, psychiatrist Yola Lucire and Justice Action team. Despite having defended against and winning the case against forced medication over a year ago, the authorities said the medication would stop him annoying people and make him less vocal. It was illegal, and made him sick. The Mental Health Review Tribunal sat in Long Bay Hospital and found that Malcolm Baker did not pose a serious risk of harm to himself or others, thus there was no reason to hold him in the mental health facility.

Progress has since been made to begin to transition Malcolm Baker back into a correctional facility in his place of classification. At present he is being held at Silverwater Correctional Centre in Darcy 2, a transitional pod of the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre (MRRC). According to NSW Justice’s website, ‘Most inmates at the MRRC leave the centre within the first few months of their arrival. They may obtain bail and are released or they are classified and transferred to their centre of classification.’

The situation must be monitored to ensure he is returned to his place of classification. According to the Serious Offenders Review Council, he should remain classified as A2 at the South Coast Correctional Centre. Transition has not always been prompt in the past. Prior to the MHRT hearing Malcolm Baker was held in the mental health pod at the MRRC for 15 months where he was set up to fail by being placed in an unsettling environment with no access to prison employment, education and no chance to create stable and meaningful relationships.

It has been nearly four months since and no action has been taken by the responsible authorities to transfer Mr Baker to his place of classification where he wishes to obtain access to a prison job, education and engage in real relationships with fellow inmates. At the moment, Mr Baker is still being held in a mental health pod at the MRRC. 

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