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John Harrington complaining about the cold in prison

By johnboy - 8 July 2011 23

The Canberra Times reports that well known identity in Canberra business circles, John Harrington, was the subject of Wednesday’s intricate police operation with substituted substance importation.

But it seems he is not well pleased by the hospitality on offer from ACT Corrections while he is held on remand.

Defence lawyer Kamy Saeedi said there would be no application for bail until today.

He said his client – who was dressed in a prison jumpsuit – had not been provided with adequate clothing, in breach of his human rights.

Mr Saeedi said Harrington had endured ”freezing” conditions in the cells.

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23 Responses to
John Harrington complaining about the cold in prison
Ozi 6:35 pm 09 Jul 11

Mental Health Worker said :

JohnBoy was probaby misled by the CT stating he was being dressed in “a prison jumpsuit” when it seems likely it was a police jumpsuit. Corrective Services doesn’t send people to court in jumpsuits – they wear either their own civilian clothing or in prison clothing. Sit in court for a day (which any member of the public can do) and you’ll see this.

Good post. Also, ‘clients’ in the watch house can normally keep their own clothes, except on the occasion that they (a) are going to hurt/attempt suicide with the clothes, or (b) the investigating officer wanted to seize the clothing as evidence, which I would suspect was the case for Mr Harrington.

Mental Health Worker 8:57 am 09 Jul 11

Violet68 said :

MHW how do you know about the heating and cooling of AMC cells?

There are many ways to know, if you wanted. Perhaps I or a family member have been imprisoned there, perhaps I work there or have worked there, or know someone who does, or perhaps I or someone I know was involved in building it.

Regardless, I was simply pointing out that JohnBoy’s reporting of the Canberra Times article was mistaken – JohnBoy assumed the defence was talking about the AMC when our criminal justice system operates in such a way that Mr Harrington had not yet been to the AMC. JohnBoy was probaby misled by the CT stating he was being dressed in “a prison jumpsuit” when it seems likely it was a police jumpsuit. Corrective Services doesn’t send people to court in jumpsuits – they wear either their own civilian clothing or in prison clothing. Sit in court for a day (which any member of the public can do) and you’ll see this.

So simple mistakes by the CT and JohnBoy create a completely irrelevant thread about whether the AMC is heated or air conditioned.

Clothing, because it brings with it dignity and perceptions that someone is “a prisoner”, is actually an extremely important Human RIght – in some places unconvicted prisoners are allowed to wear their own clothes in prison, in recognition of the concept of “innocent until proven guilty”. Prison clothing was one of the major factors behind the IRA hunger strikes in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, in which 10 hunger strikers died. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1981_Irish_hunger_strike

MHW

grunge_hippy 8:32 am 09 Jul 11

PrinceOfAles said :

My heart bleeds for him. If he wanted to be warm he should have kept himself out of the AMC.

so that whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing isn’t your bag?

it has been damn cold the last few nights. accused criminal or not, you’d hope there was adequate provisions.

Innovation 7:56 am 09 Jul 11

BimboGeek said :

Well I would hope it’s air-conditioned because it was FREEZING last night! I needed two heaters, a thick doona and a cuddle to keep warm. It’s not cool to mistreat prisoners, and they have a special duty of care to anyone they suspect might be withdrawing from drugs. Plus he’s not a young guy, you don’t see him wandering around in a t-shirt during winter!

If he’s lucky he might get a “cuddle” to keep him warm too.

PrinceOfAles 12:30 am 09 Jul 11

My heart bleeds for him. If he wanted to be warm he should have kept himself out of the AMC.

Ozi 11:41 pm 08 Jul 11

Well it isn’t air conditioned, but it is a constant 23ºC. That and you get a mattress and a couple of blankets. Poor darling just has a soft constitution, better suited to a drugs-funded life of luxury, me thinks.

Henry82 11:03 pm 08 Jul 11

just deny him bail, and give him a blanket. I’m sure the other prisoners will make him feel welcome hearing of his special treatment

Violet68 10:46 pm 08 Jul 11

MHW how do you know about the heating and cooling of AMC cells?

WonderfulWorld 10:40 pm 08 Jul 11

Whatever, the accused was cold. I have a heater and a doona and was cold. Some people don’t have even this, some people’s rent says they have heating and it is broken, let alone the “homeless”. Accussed or innocent, really, ITS JUST COLD!

Angelina 9:41 pm 08 Jul 11

To be fair I don’t suppose anyone here, myself included, truly knows what the conditions at AMC or the watchhouse are at night. I would imagine that even Mental Health Worker who posted previously doesn’t spend a lot of time in these places overnight. As BimboGeek pointed out it has been bloody cold and I do know of a few guards (interstate) who take great pleasure in making life difficult and uncomfortable for the crims. I wonder if AMC screws would be any different?

Mental Health Worker 8:22 pm 08 Jul 11

There’s a problem with this post – it reports on Mr Harrington’s first appearance in court. So the previous night was spent in police custody, not in the AMC. So it’s the Watchhouse that was cold, not AMC.

Most AMC cells are not air-conditioned, but do have heating.

MHW

astrojax 3:38 pm 08 Jul 11

BimboGeek said :

…you don’t see him wandering around in a t-shirt during winter!

well, no, not now… 🙂

BimboGeek 2:59 pm 08 Jul 11

Well I would hope it’s air-conditioned because it was FREEZING last night! I needed two heaters, a thick doona and a cuddle to keep warm. It’s not cool to mistreat prisoners, and they have a special duty of care to anyone they suspect might be withdrawing from drugs. Plus he’s not a young guy, you don’t see him wandering around in a t-shirt during winter!

The Frots 2:20 pm 08 Jul 11

Well, drip me in honey and throw me to the lesbians.

He should be told it’s not the destination………………………it’s the journey!!!

EvanJames 2:20 pm 08 Jul 11

Ha. Rubbish. Freezing my foot. Some of these lawyers are ridiculous the way they’ll grasp at tiny straws to try and winkle their clients out of it. I bet that jail is air-conditioned within an inch of its life.

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