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  #1  
Old 03-02-2004, 06:16 AM
Corry Corry is offline
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Post A day in the life Of an Australian Residential inmate

Residential is the same as General population it consistof apartment styled blocks set out with 3 blocks to a cluster and at the particular prison I was in there where three clusters each cluster has a cluster office where the Guards are stationed the entire residential compound is covered by video cameras.

A single block contains 4 units and each unit houses 6 inmate cells.
Inside the inmates cell there is a bed, a average cubby area with approximatly 9 cubby holes to store clothing, toiletries and other personal effects, there is a desk and a swivel mounted seat a television (if paid for) and a window.
Inmates are issued three sets of pants (two sets of trackies and one pair of trousers) 3 track shirts, 3 T-shirts, Three pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of socks, a pair of thongs, and a pair of running shoes and a dirty clothes bag.

Inside the unit there is a fridge, toaster, microwave,storage space for plates, bowls saucers,and eating utensils(all which are plastic).There is also a laundry area in each unit with a washer and dryer which is usually located in the bathroom area there are three toilets and three showers.windows in the bathrooms have vent space to allow fresh air into the bathroom facilities.The floors in the bathroom are grained for slip resistance.There is also a day area a in each unit in the day area there are two steel benches a wall mounted television table, 21inch television, and a cubby space for storing newspapers board and card games.

Inamtes are not allowed inside units that they do not reside in if caught they can be punished. Inmates aren't allowed to have lighters or matches. and as smoking is prohibited inside the units cigarette lighters are mounted on the walls at the or near the cluster office
Inmates may rent a television for their cell at a price of 2 dollars a week.

The day starts with a wakeup call at 6:20 am

This allows you time to get up make your bed, shower, dress, eat breakfast which generally consist of one of two cereals (which are provided in bulk to the unit in bulk each week)Corn Flakes or Rice Crispies. toast (each nite at dinner fresh bread is delivered to the units) which you have a choice between white, wheat, or wholegrain. and a juice or milk each inmate is allocated 600 ml of milk per day and 125ml of juice per day.
Unfortunately smoking is prohibited inside the unit as smoking is banned in all government facilities.
7:20 am Inmates are required to stand outside their cell doors for muster, basically this means that the guards come around to each unit and do a head count (inmates will not be allowed to leave the unit until headcount is completed and correct.)

7:30 amUnlock prisoners who require medication report the the resdiential movment station for there medication. Whilst those who work, which is probably 95 percent of inmates in the residental or general population, because its mandatory to work, study or participate in programs designated by the sentence managment team in order to remain in residential population. Metal shop, Wood shop, Kitchen, and Landscaping workers report to Residential Movement station to await their Technical instructors who will escort them to their relevant work areas.

8:30 Persons who work in cleaning, inmate reception, administration (clerk positions and Librarians), and workers for the Aboriginal Spiritual Centre report to Residential Movement station and await clearance for movement to their places of employment these workers due to their job classification and risk assessment rarely have an escort to their work places.

Those who are new to residential are required to fill out job application forms and are allowed 3 choices of areas the would like to work. they must turn in these applications are then assessed by the risk managment and Technical instructors to find appropriate job placement. once the applications have been assessed the new inmates are then interviewed for positions that have been deemed suitable. the interview is more or less to give the Technical instructors an idea of past employment history and expeiriance.

But until the applications are assessed the new inmates are required to do general cleaning duties withing the residential complex such as cleaning thier units, sweeping pathways, hosing down pathways, etc. and they will be required to do this until either they undertake employment or study.

12:15 pm All Inmates with the exception of required kitchen staff , are rquired to return to the residential compound for muster (head count).

12:30 pm Lunch which 5 days a week consitsts of sandwich meat, salad and occasionally cheese. On these days obviously the lunch is a do it yourself sandwhich. 2 days of the week hot lunches are served which usualy consist of meat pies or stew.

1:00 pm Inmates enrolled in education, computers, mandatory programs, Tutors and Librarians report to movement control to attend there courses and or jobs at the education BlockIn some prisons inmates only work half days to leave available the afternoons for programs study recreation or hobby classes. Other prisons work full days and those required to attend mandatory programs are the given exception to the full day work regime.

4:45 pm All inmates with the exception of required kitchen staff must return to the residential compound for muster (head count).

5:00 pm Dinner Dinner is based on a weekly menu which is created by the Kithchen Technical Instructor which is supposed to be mandated by the a pre defined Dietary recommendation.

After dinner inmates are free to browse the residential compound within the limits set out by the Residential Supervisor.There are phones available for inmates to make calls on .
Prisons have set up a phone system by which the inmates can allocate money weekly into a private phone account specifically for the use of the phones or visitors may deposit money into the phone accounts on visitation days. An inmate is asked upon reception to the prison who they would like to have on their phone list the inmates provide the names of who they wish to call and the phone number. This information is sent to intel where they actually contact each person and ask if they wish to recieve calls from the inmate. after the list is confirmed and the phone account is set up an inmate may begin using the phone .

To do so the inmate selects the person they wish to call (each person on the list is allocated a number 1,2,3,4,5, etc)
by presing the corresponding number on the phone then the inmate is prompted to enter a four digit number preallocated to the prisoner usually this number is the last 4 digits of there identification number which they are given upon reception into the prison. after that the phone will dial the number and upon the other party answering a recorded message will play notifiying the receiver of the call that the call is comming from a correctional facility and that the call is being recorded as well it warns that they are not allowed to transfer forward or undertake 3 way calling. then the timer start and the inmate can proceed with his phone conversation in residential a prisoner is allowed 12 min per call and after the call they must either go to another phone or wait 3 minutes to use the same phone again.

6.30pm Lockdown. All inmates are required to be in there units standing in front of there cell doors for final count.
7pm residential inmates video starts, selected by the inmates.
Guards make rounds every 2 hours checking to make sure all inmates are in there unit. After lockdown, inmates are free to play games, watch tv, write letters, etc.

Inmates are allowed to spend up to a $100 a week on buy ups at canteen. Inmates can request permission to make outside purchases, such as play stations, computers, magazines, etc.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:57 AM
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Corry,
First, thanks a lot for sharing this information! It's the first of its kind about Australian prison that I have seen so it is much appreciated and I am sure you will have a great many people reading this enthusiastically in the future to see what it is like there vs. in the U.S.

I do have a couple of questions..

1) ARE YOU SERIOUS ABOUT BEING ABLE TO PURCHASE A COMPUTER? Ok.. Sorry for shouting but if I could have purchased a friggen laptop while I was in prison I would have been pretty well set.. What are the requirements with regards to purchasing a computer? Do they let you keep it in your cell if they approve you? Are there price restrictions or types of computers?

2) Is there any type of Internet access given to prisoners, either in educational computer classes or by other means?

3) Do the prisons have air conditioning?

4) How are the visits? Through glass or are they contact? Do they have family or "conjugal" visits?

5) How much do the phone calls cost? Per call, per minute or however they bill?

Ok.. That is what comes to mind right away.. I am really bowled over about being able to purchase play stations and computers. Personally, I think someone that has any experience with computers could REALLY advance quickly in a number of IT / Desgin fields if they had a computer to work with. I got a complete MCSE training kit and Cisco CNE cert. books sent in but they trashed the disks and of course it was all reading and no hands on, which really hampered in-depth learning as I am sure you could imagine. Also, in the feds, they are major paranoids about "macros" and anything datbase related. I helped teach a MS Office class and they left out the Access part because they actually were worried about it.. This was on a completely (physically) isolated network of about 16 computers running an old version of NT. Pretty lame but they tripped all the time and eyeballed us almost constantly, as if we could break into the BOP computer and release everyone. It was laughable but sad..

Look forward to hearing more from you!
Thanks a lot,
David
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:58 AM
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*Stickied* for obvious reasons
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Old 03-02-2004, 02:24 PM
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This may seem a strange question to you, and anyone in the US, but do you have armed guards where you are? I remember the prison in Brisbane had armed guards in towers around it. I ask because NO prison in England has guns, much the same as very few of our police are armed, and I've always thought that guns aren't necessary.

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Old 03-02-2004, 05:48 PM
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Most U.S. prisons that have towers have guards with guns in them. No guards on the "yard" have guns in case there is a takeover. They feel the towers are safe and a good place to shoot inmates from here in the U.S., with the exception (maybe) now of Arizona that recently had one of its towers taken over in a hostage standoff. (fortunately, nobody was killed)
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:03 PM
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Corry

Thanks for sharing this with us.

2 questions:

are the cells single ones or not ??

what time is lights out ??

Thanks
Phil
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:28 PM
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Fed-X,

Well to answer your questions :

1.) Yes you can seriously purchase a computer via an outside purchase with the approval of the General Manager AKA the Wardon. The process involved and the requirements are as follows:

In order to purchase a computer (desktop or laptop) via outside purchase an inmate may make a written request to the General Manager providing that the inmate has the funds. If the inmate does not have the funds and they have a friend or family member willing to deposit money the inmate must file a request to exceed the weekly trust account limit of $100.00 describing what the funds will be used for. If the inmate request to exceed the weekly trust account limit is approved then the inmate may request an outside purchase.In this case the inmate must provide the approved request to exceed the monthly trust account limit with the request to purchase a computer. If the request is approved the inmate may choose a computer from a designated supplier. This does not impede on the quality or function of the computer.
The pricing on computers is only dictated by the supplier if an inmate has the funds he can pretty much purchase any computer however there are restrictions on periferials such as scanners camera's etc. generaly the only periferial allowed are printer speakers keyboard and mouse.

As far as internet access the inmates are not allowed any form of internet access .The prison I was in was fairly new it allowed computer access for the purpose education they provided courses in MS Office, Db stuctures and of course inmates could order their own cirriculum from universites or Education providers. As well if an inmate owns his own computer he can order Trainning such as MCSE, CNE, CNA, Linux, Programming etc to undertake self training courses the inmate has to speak with the education officers to arrange the ordering and supply of materials. Inmates can have CD's and CD players.

Air Conditioning, yes australian prisons are heated and airconditioned. in the day rooms as well as in the independent cells. In workshops industrial exhaust fans are used to cool the working areas.

Visits, Initially all inmates go through a period of non -contact visits where they are seperated by large metal and glass partitions that span from the floor to the ceiling. These visitationsession are recorded via audio.

This is due to the Department of Corrections requirement that all visitors must have a police check completed. So all visitors with the exception of children are required to complete a form at the prison which the prison then sends off to the Police service. Upon reciept of the results of the police check Prison Intell then assess the risk of each visitor eg trafficing drugs or weapons into the prison. Generally if the visitor does not have a criminal record then contact visits may be approved but the inmates behaviour and any infringements may impact on contact visits and on occassion impact on visits all together.

Contact visits start with a breif kissing/ hugging period then there is no physical contact allowed children aren't allowed to set on dads lap etc babys are the exception. the visit area has drink and snack machines these machine only accept tokens that the inmate must purchase during his weekly buy up. Family members are not allowed to bring in any money cigarettes or other personal items and the same for inamates. notes and other effects such and pictures etc are prohibited at visits. Smoking is also prohibited in some prison visitation areas where I was at it was non smoking. Visits where usually about 2 1/2 hours inmates are strip searched before and after visits. contact visits are monitored and recorded on video. as well as haveing guards patrol the visit area.

phone calls local calls are 40 cents and lond distance calls are charged at standard long distance rates by the minute.

I hope this fills in the blanks for you

corry
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:33 PM
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Default re: Armed Guards

No most Australian prisons are moving to unarmed , crossed trained guards who are guards/ counselors so the concept is to reason with the inmate and avoid physical confrontation. But don't be fooled these guards are well trained and are very large individuals bigger than 80 percent of the inmates and several have backgrounds in the military or police service. they do have a hummvee patrol that patrols the perimeter of the prison after 6 pm

hope I have answered your question
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:40 PM
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Hi phil well the cells are single but they aren't locked unless you want to lock them you are actually given the key to your cell. so whatever you wish to doo in the cell weather it be having another inmate from your unit sit in your cell with you and have a coffe play cards watch TV or other things. the key you are given to your cell does not open the unit door that allows access to the residential compound so you can't get out but there are 6 inmates who live together in a group setting where trust and friendship become very important.

As far as lights out believe it or not where I was at there was no such thing as long as you were able to get up and perform your job and participate in activities you can stay up all night writing drawing watching television etc

I think I covered your questions have any more feel free to ask


Corry
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:45 PM
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Corry, thanks and yes you answered my questions, but now I have another one !!

What is a "hummvee patrol" ????

Phil
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Old 03-02-2004, 07:17 PM
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a humvee patrol is a six wheel armoured vehicle that patrols the outer perimeter of the prison after dark and it has two armed guards.

another quick note australian prisons have drug squads and K-9 patrols so when the do a cell search they bring in the dogs and well something I failed to mention before was at the prison I was in there were no towers

so there ya go a little more info.

Corry

BTW thanks for the welcom phil
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:14 PM
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You forgot to mention at visits, what I called the grope session. At the beginning of visits, when the prisoners come out, you are allowed to hug and kiss for 5 mins, then they announce visits have began, then in the end, they announce, 5 mins till the end of visits, and then you can huge and kiss for another 5 mins. I never knew which way to look, and started calling it the grope session. Some young women were really full on, but anyway, that was the rules. You could hold hands during visits and talk, but not kiss, and you cant sit directly near each other.
So, if you kissed and cuddled outside of the "groping" session, you risked your visits.
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Old 03-03-2004, 07:52 AM
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I've found all of this so interesting and I'm going to print it out to send Tony. I really think Australia could show us all how to run our prisons, and I include Britain in that as we have our fair share of tough, over the top, prisons. Thank you, Corry.

Phil - If you'd been a part of the Peace Movement over here a few years ago you'd know exactly what a Humvee was. We had them out protecting the Cruise Missiles from us!!

Rose
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Old 03-03-2004, 06:01 PM
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Rose
I dont think prison life is that great at all, but I know of men here, that go for parol, and say they dont want to leave, they get a bed, three meals a day and a job. I know people that have been released as well, and re offend, as they say life in our prison system is better, cause there friends are there and they have no one on the outside. It still isnt a very nice place to be, by stating this, especially those that have jobs, friends and loved ones on the outside.
I just thought of something to. At visits, they put disney movies on for the kids, and have a play area, with a shut gate, that they can play in as well, with books and swings, etc. They were building BBQs to, so people can keep the kids in a family type enviroment, behind those walls.
As I said, not perfect, there is strict rules to follow, but they have thought it through as well.
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Old 03-03-2004, 10:57 PM
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It sounds pretty amazing! The only thing that is more strict is video taping of visits and audio taping of non contact visits. I visited my guy at a max, in seg, and there were no cameras, no audio taping, and although it was behind glass, we could talk privately for the first time. You coudn't see the other people and there really was a lot of privacy, unlike the visiting room.
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Old 03-09-2004, 02:07 AM
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Thanks Corry, I really enjoyed your description of day to day life in an Australian Prison.
I have to admit that it is the first insight I have been given into our own prisons, and in comparison to other prisons I have read about (eg Texas) is seems very humane.
May I ask...do you feel the prison system here (in Australia) is designed to rehabilitate? If so, what methods are used?
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Old 03-10-2004, 07:14 AM
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Kezcat the answer to that questionis not a simple one. Whilst I was in prison through discussion with other inmates and the Screws (staff). because I like to be informed on both sides of the fight so to speak, I gathered that Australian prisons were not so much different to U.S. prisons with they're "crash and bash method or militia like control over inmates. I out of shear luck landed in Maryborough Correctional Facility not to far from home. This occured due to some persuasion of my solicitor(attorney).

Anyhow Maryborough Correctional Facility was and is meant to be the new direction Australian prisons will be modeled after. The plan is to :
1. Eliminated the sale, distribution and use of drugs in the prison environment.

2. Train, or retrain inmates in fields such as landscaping, horticulture, metal works,(welding, cutting, grinding, Fabrication and general mechanical basics), Wood works (carpentry, machinery, Fabrication, hand tools, power tools general shop maintenance), Food Service (preperation, recipes, ingredients, cleaning, presentation, and serving) and ultimately how to function as a team and resolve disputes through a set resolution process. The areas though limited would ensure that the inmate would have desirable skills for employment, a certificate of apprenticship or training completion, and hopefuly the desire for the inmate to take a more responsible role in the community by becoming employed and maintaining a position in an industry.

3.Educate inmates who have the desire to further their education in preperation for University, or allow inmates to become enrolled in Tafe and or University programs that would allow them to leave prison with a diploma or degree. In hopes that the benifit of education and the skills they have learned would inspire inmates to become active in the workforce and continue to better themselves.

4. Reprograming as I call it. Each inmate has generally at least one area wether it be drug abuse, dink driving, violence, etc that is reflective of their offence or offences.
So the prison has created programs such as anger managment, drug and alchohol rehabilitation, cognitive behavior therapy, to list a few. Each new inmate is assessed upon entry into the residential compound and according to their offences they are assigned manditory programs which may include several programs whilst others may be assessed not to have to complete any.

5. The days are structured to accomidate work, programs, education and liesure activities such as hobby classes like pottery or leather works, or a fenced game of short field cricket or tennis, maybe basketball, footie (no contact of course), or just some exercise.

6. Letter writing, visits and phone calls are encourage but also viewed as privaledges.
So that by behaving in a manner that is appropriate you are allowed all these privaledges if you can not act accordinly in some instances warning are effective enough whilst other times an immediate punishment is required. For example if your talking during muster or headcount you will be warned not to speak or move out of line during muster or headcount. three warnings and you still do not comply will get you placed in the DU a detention unit you loose all privaledges including smoking you have hygene requirements linen and clothing maybe a book but nothing more no phone no television nothing but 4 walls and a door. on the other hand if you continually violate you will be sent to a secure unit and life there is another story that I can tell you all about in another post but its not where you want to be.

So yes I believe that the prisons systems in Australia are moving toward a more positive effective methodology one of rehabilitation, and treatment. There are areas still lacking such as medical facilities, mental health staff and facilities. But truth be known I knew most of the screws by their first name and they responded by calling me by my prefered name so its also about moving towards a boundary of mutual respect as human beings as well as instilling some self respect into inmates so that when they leave they have a better chance of not reoffending.

I know long drawn out but I could write for days on my expieriance in prison.
hope I have answered your question ..

Corry
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Old 03-10-2004, 10:26 PM
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Corry, thank you so much for your reply. I appreciate your taking time out to explain things to me.

I really enjoyed your posts, many thanks.
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Old 03-24-2004, 03:04 AM
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Thank you Cory for at last bringing this to an international forum. I am curious though, can you tell me which prison you were in? I used to visit a friend in a prison is Ipswich Queensland and it was very strict and he was there for a minor offence.

It sounds like like you were at a "newer" prison. When you mentioned air conditioning I knew it must have been a newer facitility.

So you are free now? I hope everything is going well for you.

I would very much like your thoughts on a 60 Minutes program I saw a while ago now. I'll put you in the picture.
It was after a young Muslim kid was sentenced to life after raping two or more young Australian women in Sydney and encouraging his friends to do the same. His defence was that as a Muslim he had the right, it was part of his relgion and his family agreed with him, including his mother. Anyway, he was sent to the new Super Super Max prison which was built within Goulburn Jail and it was designed to house any terrorists that may be caught in this country. Each cell contains only one inmate and there is a camera in each cell to monitor every inmate. The shower is controlled by the guards and only 3 minutes is allowed for a shower. The first thing I thought of was if you have been bad they will wait until you soap up and then cut off the water.

One of the reasons I am saying all of this is as much as I am very happy that our overseas friends now know so much more about our system, I also want them to know that not all prisons here allow computers or are air conditoned.

I would appreciate your thoughts Cory
Grevillia
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Old 03-29-2004, 02:36 AM
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I'm kinda wondering why Corry has not responded to my post and it's been almost a week. Maybe he is busy.
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Old 03-29-2004, 03:13 AM
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Grevillia
He hasnt been on the computer his darling wife ( me) has been on here . He has also had a bad week, but I will make sure he comes back and posts to you tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 03-29-2004, 09:07 AM
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There is a State that also allowd them to have a play station, or it may have been the hand held ones. I cant remeber where I seen that post at, it may have been here. it blew me away.
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Old 03-30-2004, 03:58 AM
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Thanks Kyla, I didn't know Cory was your husband. I hope he is ok. I really would like his thoughts though.
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  #24  
Old 03-30-2004, 07:10 AM
Corry Corry is offline
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Hello Grevillia,

Well that’s an interesting take on the prison system and informative. I do not take a position against the cultural or religious beliefs of others; I would say on the contrary that I encourage people to follow their hearts and what they believe in spiritually. That is not to say that I encourage in any way criminal acts whether towards an individual or the government. As well I do not believe in the rape, molestation, or physical abuse of women and children or men for that matter. It is not ones right as a human being or through spirituality to violate another person in such ways nothing gives a person the right to commit murder, rape, child molestation or any other acts of violence, sexually or physically. If it is legal in their home country and that is acceptable in their culture fine then they should remain in their country but I still do not approve of that kind of behaviour or condone it. Speaking Honestly I don't care if a Muslim or other person who's religion allows multiple wives, the use of mind altering substances for religious ceremonies, or animal sacrifices. Where this is legal they have such rights or privileges that they would not have elsewhere. But when those individuals come to a place like Australia or America they do not have those rights or privileges under the law and they should abide therein by the laws of the country that they live or are visiting.

I was not aware of a supermax facility in Australia. But yes you are right not all prisons in Australia have air-conditioning there are several that do and I believe the general consensus is that before long most will eventually have it. Also every 6 man unit has a video camera fitted in the day room which covers everything outside the inmate’s cells.

As far as computers go I believe about 85% of Australian prisons have computer labs in the education department. and about 82% of Australian low, medium, and high security prisons allow inmates to purchase computers through what they call an outside Buy up but only with the express written consent of the General Manager or Warden he must The GM or Warden must feel that the computer is safe and not a risk to staff or other inmates as well I believe they assess each request based on the inmates crime attitude behaviour and the area that the inmates are in.

See in Australian prisons there is secure blocks that house trouble inmates who have been in General population (AKA Residential) and been sent back to secure because they caused trouble and are sent to secure as a punishment sometimes for a set period other times the may not be given the opportunity to return to residential. As well this secure unit would house inmates who caused trouble even before leaving the secure induction Block.

Secure Induction blocks to induct new inmates which basically means they go to classes or briefings where they are informed of Do's and Don’ts as well as courses on workplace health and safety, Job availability and how and when to apply for an available position, Centre link payments, Legal Aid etc.

Then there are protection units to house sexual offenders, such as rapists, child molesters or paedophiles, as well as inmates who have mental illnesses or are afraid of entering General population (aka Residential)

I believe that maximum security and super max rules would have their own set of guidelines and things like computers could pose a risk to staff or inmates if the inmates where allowed them in their cells. So yes I believe their may be a variance of Things which are allowable in some prisons but not others.
But I cannot stress enough Maryborough Correctional Facility was built to be a model prison for all Australian prisons with Goals of reduction or elimination of drug trade inside Correctional Facilities and the constant and somewhat overpowering but necessary encouragement for inmates to participate in work, education, hobbies and mandatory Program classes fro their offences in order to empower the inmates to take responsibility for their lives get on track be productive and not re-offend. I know if there where more prisons structured like Maryborough and they followed through there would be a fair decrease in inmate populations and inmates re-offending. I have a lot of respect for the staff at Maryborough and how they treat the inmates like human beings even when they start acting like idiots or animals.

Hope that is the input you were seeking

Corry
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Old 03-30-2004, 07:17 AM
Corry Corry is offline
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Lulu,

hello

yes in some (not sure how many will look into it though) low, medium and High security prisons inmates may have nintento game cubes, playstations, and computers. They must purchase them through the prison though and are not allowed to recieve them outside of that from home or visitors. They must also either save the money in their account to buy them or make a request to the GM to allow them to exceed there trust account limit to allow family or friends to deposit the money for such items. If that is approved (if the inmate has the funds he may just do the following) The inmate must make a request to the GM requesting approval to purchase such Items like playstations computers etc.
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