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NCJ Number: 94268 Find in a Library
Title: Tasmania and the 'Greenies' - The Research Note on Prison Crowding
Journal: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology  Volume:17  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1984)  Pages:41-48
Author(s): D Biles; J Howe
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This study documents the extent to which the Tasmanian prison authorities were able to cope with a sudden increase in inmates from December 1982 to February 1983 due to the large number of environmental protesters ('Greenies') detained under charges associated with a protest against the proposed building of a hydroelectric dam in an area designated for preservation by the World Heritage Council.
Abstract: The Tasmanian prison system is essentially one prison, Risdon, which was built in 1959 and provides accommodation in single cells for over 400 males and 23 females. A subsidiary institution, the Hayes Prison Farm, provides further accommodation for 70 male prisoners, and 40 cells are available within the Launceston police station for short-term detention. Forewarned by media reports on the intentions of the demonstrators prior to their protest actions, the Risdon prison authorities made emergency arrangements by relocating a number of sentenced prisoners to provide separate reserve remand facilities and by borrowing additional bedding from hospitals and purchasing some portable toilets. The relatively trouble-free handling of the situation was facilitated by the generally positive attitude of the protesters. The Tasmanian prison system could have coped with even greater numbers, perhaps up to 500-600 for a short time. The existing staff worked only limited overtime during the period. Some policewomen were given special training to work in the female section of the prison. All prison systems need contingency plans to cope with any sudden increase in numbers resulting from civil disorder or any other cause, particularly regarding female housing, since females are more likely to be involved in protest incidents than in typical criminal offenses. Graphic data are provided.
Index Term(s): Civil disorders; Emergency detention; Emergency procedures; Prison management; Prison overcrowding
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