Prison Profiles

iExpress has now expanded its function to include prison profiles. This will bring those secret spaces holding our citizens into the light so the walls no longer hide them from public view. It will expose the realities and allow open discussion of policy creation and administration from the viewpoints of prisoners, families, friends, prison officers and authorities. 

This initiative follows the release of the NSW Inspectors Report to Parliament in April 2015, where he said the treatment of prisoners “denied them a modicum of dignity and humanity.” His exposures showed that no accountability or enforceable standards existed and they could only defend themselves by rioting. iExpress intends to be part of the answer. We initially focus on his findings for three NSW prisons: Parklea, the MRRC Silverwater and the MSPC Long Bay.

These profiles offer official information on Australian and New Zealand prisons and locked hospitals, as well as feedback from those living and working in them. The concept of the “Healthy Prison” is developed around rating a prison by a questionnaire looking at issues including safety, overcrowding, time out of cells, health, education and work.

“Healthy” Prison    

Intention:

A project to ensure the hidden area of prisons made accountable by the feedback from all sources including official data, feedback from prisoners, ex-prisoners, family members, visitors and prison staff. 

What is a “healthy” prison?

According to the report of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons[1], a “healthy” prison is comprised of four key principles:

  1. Safety: Every inmate is held safely.
  2. Respect: Every inmate is treated with respect for one’s human dignity. The standard of basic necessities and health care services provided should be as same as the general community.
  3. Purposeful Activity: Every inmate is encouraged to improve oneself and expected to engage in activity that is likely to be beneficial to him or her.
  4. Resettlement: Every inmate is prepared for release back to the community and assisted to reduce the chance of recidivism.
     

A prison cannot be defined as healthy by itself. It is all about people staying inside. A “healthy” prison is related to how inmates perceive that prison. “Whether inmates think that they are treated with dignity and humanity or not; whether they are respected or not”[2]; “whether inmates believe the prison is safe or not”[3] ; “whether they have sufficient out-of-cell time or not”[4] and “whether the overcrowding situation brings them problems or not”[5], etc.

 

 


[1]Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons. (2012). Criteria for Assessing the Treatment of Prisoners and Conditions in Prisons. Retrieved from: http://www.insidetime.org/resources/Misc_Info_Downloads/HMCIP_InspectionCriteria-Expectations.pdf

[2]Australian Human Rights Commission. (2012). Prisoners and Human Rights. Retrieved from: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/rights-and-freedoms/projects/prisoners-rights

[3] Government of Western Australia. (2012). Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia. Retrieved from: http://www.correctionalservices.nt.gov.au/Documents/useful_links/aust-stand_2012.pdf

[4]Great Britain, National Audit Office. (2010). Managing Offenders on Short Custodial Sentences. Retrieved from: http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/0910431.pdf

[5]International Centre for Prison Studies. (2010). Current Situation of Prison Overcrowding. Retrieved from: http://www.prisonstudies.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/current_situation_of_prison_overcrowding_paper.pdf