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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Drugs in the AMC.

By johnboy - 2 April 2011 28

The Canberra Times has the not particularly surprising news that a secret report into the Alexander Maconochie Centre (aka “the prison”) lists prison staff as the main conduit of drugs to prisoners:

Four ”key informants” are quoted on the subject of guards trafficking drugs into the jail.

”Because we have so many staff coming and going every day in this correctional centre, one of the biggest challenges is to guard against trafficking (by staff),” one of the informants, believed to a staff member, told investigators.

”I believe we have some of that.”

Another witness was more blunt.

”There are guards bringing in drugs,” they told the institute’s researchers.

Considering bent guards are the major source of drugs in every other prison in the world this should not shock anyone.

Once one factors in the chronic ongoing incompetence of ACT Corrections it would frankly be shocking if this was not the case.

So next time you hear about drug busts at the prison bear in mind it’s as likely corrupt guards cutting down the competition as it is people doing their jobs well.

What’s Your opinion?


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28 Responses to
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Drugs in the AMC.
cleo 1:36 am 04 Apr 11

I heard this months ago, the gov. wouldn’t suggest that needles be given out for nothing duuurrrrrr!
Where are the sniffer dogs???
Just a little slow here in the Bush!

James_Ryan 1:26 pm 03 Apr 11

Mental Health Worker said :

nooo—ooohhh. This thread is about the Burnet Institute’s report, and that’s what I am describing. It is a whole collection of unsubstantiated and unverifiable claims by unidentified sources, some of whom may have axes to grind and were delivered a nice anonymous way to do so. It is a piece of qualititative research which throws in some numbers to try to increase its credibility, many of which numbers the authors don’t even seem to understand.

The Burnet Institute may have a great reputation, but research in prisons is very different from other environments and they seem to have been working outside their skill-set.

You’re making stuff up, my friend. If you knew as much as you’re claiming to know, you’d be aware that the Burnet Institute has an extensive and credible track record in corrections based health research.

Furthermore, an oversight group was created to direct the evaluation process from the beginning, and that oversight group was co-chaired by the deputy chief executives of both jacs and health, and was composed of individuals invited by government. Those individuals included two key experts with advanced credentials in evaluation, social research, drugs and health, and the corrections environment.

Compare that with the dodgy Hamburger Report written by a “consultant” handpicked by the Executive Director of Corrective Services with absolutely zero independent oversight and absolutely zero transparency of process.

And what other independent Australian research organisation would be better qualified to conduct this research than the Burnet Institute? NDRI would probably be equally well placed, but with Burnet at the wheel it would take a fair whack of ignorance to suggest they’re not extremely well qualified to do the work.

The poor quality of the work is probably the reason it hasn’t been released.

Wrong again. Government accepted the report and its high quality was acknowledged. The word is that the government is determined to respond to the Burnet Report, the Hamburger Report, and the review of corrections health with a consolidated response. Given that the Hamburger Report was set up to muddy the waters in the first place, that will take some careful craftmanship.

The CPSU is ropeable about it, and rightly so.

Of course the CPSU is ropeable about it. The CPSU has nothing to gain from the realities being exposed. The CPSU is interested in power, its membership and the bigger picture. The bigger picture is, of course, the politics and power weilded by trade unions in every corrections facility across the country.

I can tell you for a fact that the CPSU is completely disinterested in the vast majority of the report. They didn’t even bother turning up to all relevant forums and meetings. From the start all they’ve cared about is the risk that this evaluation will lead to a needle and syringe program. And therein lies the big risk for prisons unions. Not because a needle and syringe program will be dangerous, because it won’t and all the international evidence supports that fact, but because the prisons unions have backed themselves into a corner about the issue with Charlton Heston statements about “over our dead bodies” and “from our cold head hands”.

The CPSU is not shocked that the report alleges staff involvement in drug supply, because individuals within the CPSU were well and truely aware of such allegations long before the Burnet Institute ever got involved.

Diggety 11:14 am 03 Apr 11

Mental Health Worker said :

collection of unsubstantiated and unverifiable claims by unidentified sources, some of whom may have axes to grind and were delivered a nice anonymous way to do so.

MHW

How do you know they have an axe to grind if they are unidentified?

Tooks 11:11 am 03 Apr 11

Tooks said :

obamabinladen said :

dvaey said :

So, the guards are searching visitors lockers to find drugs.. to take any heat off their own dealing? Sounds like gangs dobbing other gangs in to take the heat off their own illegal dealings.

Why dont they invest in one of those machines which blows a gust of air past you and senses particles in the air? Force everyone to go through that machine, guards and all, and see how long the problem lasts.

Can you provide proof that the guards at AMC are smuggling drugs to detainees? If you can name and shame fair enough and I apologise in advance, however this is serious slander and you need to be silenced!

Go and read the front page of yesterday’s Canberra Times.

Before anyone points out my stupidity, I just realised the original post is about that front page CT article. *Puts on dunces hat*

The_Bulldog 8:23 am 03 Apr 11

Funny – a couple of guards I have known for some years who work/ed out there have stated it’s the counsellors and advocated who are largely responsible for bringing drugs in. In fact – I would find it both troubling and surprising if the Burnett report failed to mention the detected actions of these people, one instance of which I had confirmed through the one or two degrees which separates us all in Canberra.

Despite the comments regarding the accuracy and impressiveness of the Burnett report – let’s not forget that many of the people providing this information are criminals, and have no vested interest in having their supply of drugs stopped OR the success and accuracy of the report.

Tooks 8:05 am 03 Apr 11

Mental Health Worker said :

I have read the report, in full, and it is rubbish. What chance that prisoners want to put the heat on staff to divert attention from their other means of getting drugs into the prison?

Okay, you think it’s rubbish. What do you base that on?

Tooks 8:02 am 03 Apr 11

obamabinladen said :

dvaey said :

So, the guards are searching visitors lockers to find drugs.. to take any heat off their own dealing? Sounds like gangs dobbing other gangs in to take the heat off their own illegal dealings.

Why dont they invest in one of those machines which blows a gust of air past you and senses particles in the air? Force everyone to go through that machine, guards and all, and see how long the problem lasts.

Can you provide proof that the guards at AMC are smuggling drugs to detainees? If you can name and shame fair enough and I apologise in advance, however this is serious slander and you need to be silenced!

Go and read the front page of yesterday’s Canberra Times.

Mental Health Worker 7:51 am 03 Apr 11

“If you think the report is rubbish, you must be referring to the Hamburger Report.

The Burnet Report is a quality piece of work, including a rational and comprehensive set of recommendations, all achieved in difficult circumstances with a need to balance competing perspectives and agendas. The Burnet Report that I’ve read is a credit to the evaluation team – hardly surprising given the reputation and credibility of the Burnet Institute, and the transparent process behind it.”

nooo—ooohhh. This thread is about the Burnet Institute’s report, and that’s what I am describing. It is a whole collection of unsubstantiated and unverifiable claims by unidentified sources, some of whom may have axes to grind and were delivered a nice anonymous way to do so. It is a piece of qualititative research which throws in some numbers to try to increase its credibility, many of which numbers the authors don’t even seem to understand.

The Burnet Institute may have a great reputation, but research in prisons is very different from other environments and they seem to have been working outside their skill-set.

The poor quality of the work is probably the reason it hasn’t been released. The CPSU is ropeable about it, and rightly so.

MHW

obamabinladen 10:54 pm 02 Apr 11

dvaey said :

So, the guards are searching visitors lockers to find drugs.. to take any heat off their own dealing? Sounds like gangs dobbing other gangs in to take the heat off their own illegal dealings.

Why dont they invest in one of those machines which blows a gust of air past you and senses particles in the air? Force everyone to go through that machine, guards and all, and see how long the problem lasts.

Can you provide proof that the guards at AMC are smuggling drugs to detainees? If you can name and shame fair enough and I apologise in advance, however this is serious slander and you need to be silenced!

James_Ryan 10:36 pm 02 Apr 11

Mental Health Worker said :

I have read the report, in full, and it is rubbish. What chance that prisoners want to put the heat on staff to divert attention from their other means of getting drugs into the prison?

On the other hand, an officer was recently arrested for possession of a traffickable quantity of drugs, http://the-riotact.com/cannabis-bust-in-red-hill/39645, although he was not arrested on the prison premises. It is possible he was bringing, or offering to bring, or being pressured to bring, drugs into the prison.

MHW

If you think the report is rubbish, you must be referring to the Hamburger Report.

The Burnet Report is a quality piece of work, including a rational and comprehensive set of recommendations, all achieved in difficult circumstances with a need to balance competing perspectives and agendas. The Burnet Report that I’ve read is a credit to the evaluation team – hardly surprising given the reputation and credibility of the Burnet Institute, and the transparent process behind it.

James_Ryan 6:32 pm 02 Apr 11

Describing this evaluation report as “secret” is simply ridiculous.

The government publicly committed to conducting the evaluation waaaay back when the Corrections Health Plan was developed. Remember? Before the prison was even built the Government wanted to have a crack at running a drug free prison first, before considering the provision of sterile injecting equipment for prisoners.

Then the government quite publicly announced it’s intention to receive the evaluation report from the Burnet Institute before the end of 2010.

If it was a secret report then noone within government would speak its name, let alone establish an expert advisory group to oversee the evaluation (including quite a few community sector representative) and provide them with the data, findings and evaluation report.

The only thing “secret” is how the hell this thing wasn’t leaked before now.

And the findings including staff involvement in drug supply? Well, that’s been the worst kept secret in town anyway.

Mental Health Worker 6:24 pm 02 Apr 11

I have read the report, in full, and it is rubbish. What chance that prisoners want to put the heat on staff to divert attention from their other means of getting drugs into the prison?

On the other hand, an officer was recently arrested for possession of a traffickable quantity of drugs, http://the-riotact.com/cannabis-bust-in-red-hill/39645, although he was not arrested on the prison premises. It is possible he was bringing, or offering to bring, or being pressured to bring, drugs into the prison.

MHW

Davo111 2:14 pm 02 Apr 11

So silly, the officers who bring in the drugs have to defend themselves against the same people if they get out of control. Anyone on drugs can be stronger, resistant to tazers & pepper spray, and have a huge amount of energy when fighting.

Ian 11:15 am 02 Apr 11

dvaey said :

Why dont they invest in one of those machines which blows a gust of air past you and senses particles in the air? Force everyone to go through that machine, guards and all, and see how long the problem lasts.

No doubt such a machine violates someone or other’s human rights, and we can’t have that in the Hume Hilton.

dvaey 10:24 am 02 Apr 11

So, the guards are searching visitors lockers to find drugs.. to take any heat off their own dealing? Sounds like gangs dobbing other gangs in to take the heat off their own illegal dealings.

Why dont they invest in one of those machines which blows a gust of air past you and senses particles in the air? Force everyone to go through that machine, guards and all, and see how long the problem lasts.

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