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NCJ Number: 92150 Find in a Library
Title: Wilful Obstruction - The Frustration of Prison Reform
Author(s): T Vinson
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 231
Sponsoring Agency: Methuen Australia Pty Ltd
North Ryde 2113, Australia
Sale Source: Methuen Australia Pty Ltd
44 Waterloo Road
North Ryde 2113,
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Opposition by prison officers, media reports which aroused prejudice, and politicians' deliberate aggravation of public fear and suspicion all combined to frustrate the effort to implement in New South Wales the sweeping reforms recommended by the Royal Commission into New South Wales (Australia) Prisons.
Abstract: The commission, headed by Mr. Justice Nagle, investigated the policies, facilities, and practices of the penal system, which for many years had been characterized by turmoil, brutality, injustice, and outmoded facilities. The commission also reported on the custody, care, and control of prisoners; the relationship between prisoners and officers; and the selection and training of staff. Published in 1978, the commission report contained 252 recommendations for the reform of the prison system. The author was asked in 1979 to head the new Corrective Services Commission, which would implement the reforms. He worked for two and a half years before being pushed out, seeking to introduce the humane principle that a prisoner must retain certain inalienable rights if the cycle of recidivism is ever to be broken. Accompanying the narrative account of his efforts is a list of specific reforms recommended as both urgent and attainable. These include extended time out of cells, new prison workshops and factories, more efficient and humane segregation units, exclusion of fine-defaulters and short-term prisoners from maximum security institutions, construction of a new high-security unit, and reduction of the prison population. Also needed are consistency among the management of prisons of the same security level, inquiries by the Ombudsman, transferring the responsibility for prison medical services to the Corrective Services Department, and improved classification of prisoners. Photographs and an index are provided.
Index Term(s): Australia; Correctional reform; Program implementation
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