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…
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Special G Special G 7:26 am 19 Sep 08

Safe injecting rooms are a joke. If they use – subject to regular screenings – then they are back into lock down rehab. start again. No early parole until you can show you are clean.

Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 9:22 pm 16 Sep 08

There are two inscriptions on the prison’s perimeter: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights*,” which is taken from The United States Declaration of Independence, and “Each of the persons deprived of their liberty must be humanely and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human being treated.*”

*Unless they are illegal combatants

Special G, you are talking about the model used in a MCE. Those of you on this thread who are savvy enough will be aware of the TLAs meaning. I am happy enough to admit I’ve been there myself polishing my shoe polish tin.

I can reliably inform you that the MCE model works.

In civil society, the prison system works as well. I was involved with the NZDF prison strike break, and know full well that the input of drugs into the prison I was charged with guarding fell to near zero – we had to deal with the ramifications of cold turkey.

The civil prison model is based upon what has historically worked since, particularly in Australian terms, our forefathers arrived via a judge saying ‘Transportation’.

When we ask the question; Does it work ?, I suppose it does for those people who’s living conditions are better on the outside than inside. I can see this fast becoming the most popular residence in town this side of Red Hill – unfortunately not the intent behind this facility I’m sure all will agree.

For those with comprehension skills, I just answered why incentives aren’t used in the prison system. For those without, I recommend re-reading it about 100 times appears to be the standard flapworthy insult.

I state that point as somebody who has been a prison warden. Offering incentives to prisoners is what 101 Psych grads do to ‘make their change’ until they quickly realise that its simply folly, and just as likely to end in a shiv in the ribcage as any other method of containment.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 8:54 pm 16 Sep 08

Granny said :

A term a “pound of flesh” comes from the Shakesperean character Shylock, who was basically a Jewish loan shark and the pound of flesh he wanted was a human heart. He was told he could take it as long as he could do so without spilling a drop of Christian blood. Or something like that.

: )

Oh, I’ve never heard that expression. Sorry cranky, you can go screw now…I mean be a screw now.

Granny Granny 8:51 pm 16 Sep 08

A term a “pound of flesh” comes from the Shakesperean character Shylock, who was basically a Jewish loan shark and the pound of flesh he wanted was a human heart. He was told he could take it as long as he could do so without spilling a drop of Christian blood. Or something like that.

: )

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 8:46 pm 16 Sep 08

Special G, that really isn’t a bad idea at all. Although, I’d still want varying degrees of sentencing depending on circumstances. Some people are already capable of what the Rehabilitation is trying to do (not all prisoners are on drugs, for example), some just need to be kept from society for whatever reason. The key is not letting them fall all the way down inside. I think improved facilities, such as this one, will go a long way towards that. They could still do work on-site and off-site…may even help with the current skills shortage in our country.

This would probably mean that there would be differing steps based on pre-sentencing analysis. Your plan is a good basis to start off on. I’d like to see your ideas taken further and discussed.

On the facilities themselves, having livable ones will go a long way, I reckon. Part of Rehabilitation should be to show prisoners that there are advantages to leading honest lives. A place that encourages respect for the prisoner and avoids degrading them to the level of animals will show them that ‘honest society’ has something for them.

On the drugs thing, in-prison rehabilitation is an excellent thing, I reckon, but I still think needle-exchange and perhaps having safe-injecting rooms where needles are used then disposed of is a good idea. It would help with monitoring the prisoner’s progress through Rehabilitation as well, not to mention reducing the risk that they will carry disease out into society when they are released.

Finally, cranky, your desire for the prisoners flesh kind of sounded like you wanted to sexually abuse them, to be honest.

Granny Granny 7:59 pm 16 Sep 08

I’m with you, Special G.

cranky cranky 7:59 pm 16 Sep 08


Would love an explanation as to why I shouldn’t apply for a job at the centre. Your train of thought is a little opaque for me.

Special G Special G 7:49 pm 16 Sep 08

I’m going to throw in a new plan for rehabilitation. Each stage must be passed before you can move on. I’m talking about repeat offenders as opposed to one off people.

Sentences – closer to the max as opposed to slap with a lettuce leaf.
1st stage – drug rehab.
2nd stage – education/training/life skills/anger management etc….
This stage starts off with them having to be at the sessions. Once they start showing some self discipline etc they can get themselves there. Once they are fully functioning on their own and complete their training they move on.

3rd stage – job – onsite paid work. They should be able to get themselves to work on time. This stage may then move on to weekend leave passes.

4th stage – job – in the community – They still reside at the prison at all hours exept when at work. Weekend leave passes may apply.

Once they have shown they are a productive member of the community they can be released.

Each prisoner is assessed as they progress through their rehabilitation package and granted parole once they have completed the program. Each prisoner takes as long as it takes to be rehabilitated (tougher sentencing means the time is available.)

If it’s rehabilitation you want do it right and do it once. The current system of babying our repeat offenders is disgraceful.

You know it’s right.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 7:45 pm 16 Sep 08

I’d add that not all victims of crime turn into criminals before the morons start wailing. You need to speak slowly to them, Tap, and you may find yourself repeating what you say about 100 times.

What I don’t get is how brutalizing the criminal is going to improve anything for the victim? Revenge has consistently proved to be fruitless. It doesn’t do sh-t for the victim, really – doesn’t get their property, innate sense of security or loved ones back.

And cranky, that was an interesting choice of words…pound…flesh? For the good of society, please don’t apply at the new center.

tap tap 7:26 pm 16 Sep 08

The victims of crime are often so affected by the crimes commited against them, especially if they were young when it happened, that they can become criminals themselves. Remember the sook stories that criminals talk about when they are on trial? The ones you toughies are too busy thinking about the victims to consider for half a second? Those stories make them victims of crime. Which means when thinking of victims of crime you should think of the criminals story too.

But that would add greys to the black and white world some people need to exist in, so we cant have that.

Granny Granny 6:44 pm 16 Sep 08

I personally prefer my thieves, murderers and rapists to have changed somewhat before they next stand behind me and my preschooler in the supermarket.

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