Our Prisons Forum 2009
Community Justice Coalition & International Commission of Jurists Joint Conference
OUR PRISONS - HUMAN RIGHTS, MENTAL HEALTH & PRIVATISATION
Dixson Room State Library of NSW
September 5, 2009
At the conference: OUR PRISONS – HUMAN RIGHTS, MENTAL HEALTH & PRIVATISATION organised by the Community Justice Coalition and The International Commission of Jurists (Australia) at the State Library on Saturday September 5, 2009, one hundred people attended.
They heard speakers including The Hon John Robertson MLC, Minister for Corrective Services, Mr Victor Dominello MP presenting on behalf of the Shadow Attorney-General Greg Smith SC MP, Mr John Feneley, Deputy President NSW Mental Health Tribunal and Dr Helen Watchirs, ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner, and other distinguished academics with expertise in the area.
Speakers raised issues including:
The need to consider alternatives to prison and ways of reducing the prison population through legislative reform including reform of the Bail Act.
The need to have a principled approach to dealing with prisons that (1) respects human rights, (2) and especially for mental health patients has better options, (3) gives protection to the community, and (4) reduces recidivism by emphasis on rehabilitation. These four principles should apply to police, the courts, the prison system and community-based services.
The need to explore and understand the moral and legal responsibilities of government in the current debate about privatisation of prisons.
The Community Justice Coalition and The International Commission of Jurists (Australia) will consider having a series of follow up seminars in the future exploring these issues in more depth, and a range of other issues directed at the reform of the Correctional System.
For comment contact: Jocelyn McGirr on (02) 9315 5541 or John Dowd on 0439 625 007
Community Justice Coalition http://www.communityjusticecoalition.org/
International Commission of Jurists (Australia) http://www.icj-aust.org.au/
PAPERS OF CONFERENCE
Prison Privatisation: The (Ir)relevance of Accounting
Dr Jane Andrew
Dr Eileen Baldry
Human Rights for Prisoners — The ACT Experience
Dr Helen Watchirs