The prison doors open…

johnboy 15 September 2008 112

[First filed: September 11, 2008 @ 14:56]

The Chief Minister has announced the opening of his great legacy, the Alexander Maconochie Centre in Hume.

Or, as Mr. Stanhope would prefer for it to be known:

    “the first Australian prison built according to human rights principles.”

More info on the prison and a lovely picture of Simon Corbell can be found at

UPDATED: For a taste of something truly repellent try the audio from the ABC news of Mr. Stanhope comparing sending prisoners from Canberra to NSW today with transportation from England to Australia in the 18th century. Get a grip you big girl’s blouse.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The Indian press is gobsmacked by this development.

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112 Responses to The prison doors open…
tom-tom tom-tom 5:32 pm 12 Sep 08

back to topic; i’d support a needle exchange because i agree with what DMD said and i dont think its realistic to assume that no needles= no drug use. That said underneath it all mike does have a very important point about officer safety. That problem could be solved by very, very careful supervision (a safe injecting room sort of thing)but then that raises all sorts of issues about management consenting to drug use, (who is responsible if an inmate overdoses etc.)

i guess my point is theres no simple easy solutions, my two cents is that while prisons are horrible boring places filled with druggo’s drugs will always be an issue. a very very carefully supervised injecting room would be the approach i’d take as a means of harm minnimisation.

who wants to be the first to call me a bleeding heart?

whistle whistle 5:32 pm 12 Sep 08

Sorry tom-tom, but Mike is very accurately quoting Corbell. If you find that embarrassing, then maybe talk to Corbell about changing his position.

Deadheaddrinking writes to Mike that “You do not seem to have a realistic concept of why we have syringe exchange programs in prisons”.

Actually I thought Mike had been a prison officer and knows these issues inside out. Hence his informed position.

tom-tom tom-tom 5:37 pm 12 Sep 08

and just for the record DMD i’m very willing to listen to mr crowther’s on this subject; i might object to a lot of what he says and certainly wont be voting for him but credit where its due; he does have runs on the board when it comes to prisons.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 5:40 pm 12 Sep 08

whistle said :

Actually I thought Mike had been a prison officer and knows these issues inside out. Hence his informed position.

Yeah, it’s funny, isn’t it? He has no idea whatsoever! Wonder how he’ll do if he gets voted into the arrrr….A.K.P…Legistlation, umm…parliament or some sh-t.

Removing clean needles will get you HIV running rampant and not get rid of drugs. It kind of actually makes sense too. Dirty smuggled needles + Many users = Dirty Disease. Does he think the needles come with free drugs or something?

teepee teepee 6:56 pm 12 Sep 08

DMD’s argument relies on a flawed assumption that drugs will ALWAYS get in. This will not be the case if guards and visitors are subject to the same search regime as prisoners. Put the guards through scanners and past sniffer dogs on entry and there will be nothing to put in the needles.

I’d back Mike’s experience over DMD’s bombastic know-it-all attitude.

johnboy johnboy 7:14 pm 12 Sep 08

As the drugs HAVE always gotten in, or been made inside, there’s a lot to recommend it.

I doubt Mike is aiming for DMD’s vote though, sticking to his guns might well be winning him some friends.

Thumper Thumper 7:20 pm 12 Sep 08

Well, considering that most poeple in the gaol are probably there because of drugs, it would seem prudent to keep them out?

I know, silly idea…

Bundybear Bundybear 7:53 pm 12 Sep 08

I get it. Put people in jail for (amongst other illegal and anti-social activities) using drugs, and then assume there is no possibility that drugs can be kept out of jails, so provide them with needles to stab the staff with. How about a hard line approach to illegal drugs – none at all under any circumstances? OOps, no, that would be a betrayal of the human rights of the criminals to break the law. Much better to ignore the human rights of the prison staff to be employed in a safe environment.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 8:42 pm 12 Sep 08

Thumper said :

Well, considering that most poeple in the gaol are probably there because of drugs, it would seem prudent to keep them out?

I know, silly idea…

No-one is saying that keeping drugs out is a silly idea. It’s just very, very hard to do, even with strip-searches every time a prisoner lays a fart. It’s just ridiculous to think that doing away with what is essentially a method of preventing the spread of disease will somehow stop drugs getting in.

Addicts don’t use drugs simply because they can get clean needles. Needle exchange programs wouldn’t have been implemented if that were the case.

Special G Special G 8:48 pm 12 Sep 08

This is where extensive drug rehab needs to be part of the gaol system (yes GAOL people we are not a minor state of America yet). As soon as they get in rehab until they are completely clean, until that time no visitors and no access to drugs. If you get back on via smuggled drugs back into rehab for you.

Once the drugs are out of the system you can start working on all the other issues. Lack of schooling, skills, discipline. The same system of privileges I suggested for Bimberi could work at the AMC as well.

At no time did I mention training our crooks as soldiers. The training methods can turn undisciplined, fat, lazy, long haired drug smoking hippies into fit, well discplined/trained soldiers. Bit of hard yakka never hurt anyone, except maybe in the ACT where it impinges on my human rights to do work.

Thumper – I dodged Singo as my IET’s were out the back of Greenbank range and at Wide bay. Singo looked luxurious compared to the 10/14 tent we lived in. The choofa’s in the morning were entertaining and it’s an amazing ability to light one of those without losing your eyebrows.

Thumper Thumper 9:17 pm 12 Sep 08

You dodged Singo?

How did you do that? Wide Bay is no better than Shoalwater, that is,a total f*cking prick…

Ged Ged 3:16 pm 13 Sep 08

My cousin was a prison officer at Long Bay Jail, and he once spotted a group of about five inmates injecting themselves with a shared, rusty syringe.

“You fools,” he shouted. “Don’t you know you are going to get AIDS?”

“No, it’s okay,” said the ringleader. “We’re all wearing condoms!”

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 3:41 pm 13 Sep 08

Ged said :

My cousin was a prison officer at Long Bay Jail, and he once spotted a group of about five inmates injecting themselves with a shared, rusty syringe.

“You fools,” he shouted. “Don’t you know you are going to get AIDS?”

“No, it’s okay,” said the ringleader. “We’re all wearing condoms!”

Oh but we can’t have condoms, because that encourages sex. I mean…honestly!

Deano Deano 4:44 pm 13 Sep 08

It is my understanding people receive some sort of allowance whilst in prison – someone more in the know can correct me on this one.

Well, letting them back out on the streets without a cent to their name isn’t exactly going to encourage them to keep on the straight and narrow.

re the public housing allocation, they should be de-allocated and have to hit the queue again.

So are you saying we should be evicting their families onto the street in the best interests of society.

Although why anyone would be so desperate for vomit-flavoured booze escapes me.

You would be amazed at the things sane, rational people will do just to alleviate boredom – most of it self destructive or destructive to others.

they will still be socialising 24/7 with the sort of people they would normally hang out with by choice anyway

I’m sure Ahmed Alzaabi will enjoy hanging out with his fellow inmates. Sure the guy made a stupid decision with serious consequences but he is hardly the stereotypical criminal.

Matt in the Hat Matt in the Hat 10:57 am 14 Sep 08

Bloody Human Rights do=gooders! Maybe we should take a leaf out of the jail below.


These are some of the reasons why:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio created the “tent city jail” to save Arizona from spending tens of millions of dollars on another expensive prison complex.

He has jail meals down to 20 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.

He banned smoking and pornographic magazines in the jails, and took away their weightlifting equipment and cut off all but “G” movies. He says:
“They’re in jail to pay a debt to society not to build muscles so they can assault innocent people when they leave.”

He started chain gangs to use the inmates to do free work on county and city projects and save taxpayer’s money. Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn’t get sued for discrimination.

He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails. So he hooked up the cable TV again but only allows the Disney channel and the weather channel.

When asked why the weather channel, he replied: “So these morons will know how hot it’s gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs.”
He cut off coffee because it has zero nutritional value and is therefore a waste of taxpayer money. When the inmates complained, he told them, “This isn’t the Ritz/Carlton. If you don’t like it, don’t come back.”
He also bought the Newt Gingrich lecture series on US history that he pipes into the jails. When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series that actually tells the truth for a change would be welcome and that it might even explain why 95% of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.

With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix (116 degrees just set a new record for June 2nd 2007), the Associated Press reported: About 2,000 inmates living in a barbed wire surrounded tent encampment at the Maricopa County Jail have been given permission to strip down to their government-issued pink boxer shorts.

On the Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing pink boxer shorts were overheard chatting in the tents, where temperatures reached 128 degrees.
“This is hell. It feels like we live in a furnace,” said Ernesto Gonzales, an inmate for 2 years with 10 more to go. “It’s inhumane.”
Joe Arpaio, who makes his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. “Criminals should be punished for their crimes – not live in luxury until it’s time for parole, only to go out and commit more crimes so they can come back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things many taxpayers can’t afford to have for themselves.”

The same day he told all the inmates who were complaining of the heat in the tents: “It’s between 120 to 130 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to walk all day in the sun, wearing full battle gear and get shot at, and they have not committed any crimes, so shut your damned mouths!”

Way to go, Sheriff! If all prisons were like yours there would be a lot less crime and we would not be in the current position of running out of prison spaces.

Sheriff Joe was just re-elected as Sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona

Special G Special G 6:57 am 15 Sep 08

Thumper – Too many people going through Singo that year as I started as a Double choc so 6RAR ran IET’s. The blokes from Kapooki who went to Sngo were laughing at us as they moved into the brand new Singo lines and we got tents.

Back on topic – Go the Sheriff

smack smack 8:03 am 15 Sep 08

First of all,

It is much eaiser digging at Wide bay than at Singo!


I can appreciate the reasons why you are in favour of the needle exchange. If a needle exchange is to be implemented, how do you stop them being used as a weapons against prison staff or other prisoners? I think that is the difficulty here. The guards have a right to work in a safe environment (well as safe as it can be made)

Thumper Thumper 8:07 am 15 Sep 08

The new prison is essential because the ACT “had to stop transporting our convicts”, Stanhope said

Transporting our comvicts?

yeah, of course…

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 5:58 pm 15 Sep 08

Well…gee…Arizona has a lot less crime than the ACT, doesn’t it? The sheriff sounds like a sadist who seriously compromises his professional position by forcing his personal politics on people over who he has a duty of care. The man deserves to be locked up himself. He is a disgrace.

He is also part of the ‘poor me’ parade that is convinced they cannot afford the basic necessities of life even though they can be provided if you cannot. In cases where people can’t, they usually resort to crime. I don’t think the prisoners are going to see to many other options when they’re released. What’s the recidivist rate in Arizona?

Smack, I understand your point and it is a good one. I think safe-injecting rooms might be an answer to this. You are never going to get rid of drugs in prison, but it is possible to reduce disease. After all, disease affects the wider community.

Granny Granny 7:01 pm 15 Sep 08

That Sheriff belongs in his own gaol. Matt in the Hat has conveniently left out the bits about how he and his thugs have murdered the crippled and mentally retarded. Put a badge on a criminal and this is what you get.

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