Thursday, June 4

Does the NSW Government give a stuff about the people who die in its prisons?

Another report which should make you angry, taken from an ABC Online bulletin yesterday.

A coronial inquest has found that the New South Wales Department of Corrective Services ignored a damning report into a death in custody.

Adam Shipley hanged himself in his cell at the Kirkconnell minimum-security correctional centre, near Bathurst, two years ago.

The 36-year-old, who was serving time for a breach of parole, had schizophrenia and a long history of self harm.

At the Glebe Coroners Court today, an inquest found that Corrective Services had no plan for Shipley's psychological wellbeing.

The State Coroner, Mary Jerram, said the department failed to properly investigate the death and ignored a detailed report into it, because it was not written in the right format.

Readers of this blog will know I'm passionate about this issue. Over the past month, my posts have included:

May 9: “Australia doesn't impose the death penalty, does it?”
May 23: “Should imprisonment be a death sentence”
June 1: “Morally, it will be murder if this prisoner dies”
June 2: “John Robertson decides: We'll risk her life”

The heading on this post today may seem over the top. It reflects my anger, certainly, but with the scandals continuing to unfold, it's justified. The ABC report concluded:

The Coroner recommended that the New South Wales Government order a review into the treatment of at-risk inmates.

She also questioned the usefulness of the department's investigation branch and called for a review of its operations.

Don't hold your breath.

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