Archer has lost control and has no solution to continuing Risdon debacle

Tasmanian Labor

The
Gutwein Government’s unacceptable too-little-too-late approach to the
disastrous situation at Tasmania’s major prison is doing nothing to alleviate
unworkable conditions for both staff and inmates.

Shadow
Corrections Minister Ella Haddad said Attorney-General Elise Archer had failed
miserably to act and provide the prison with the resources it needs after seven
years of inaction and despite the recent release of a damning report which
revealed a pressure cooker environment where fundamental human rights are
routinely denied.

“Ms
Archer – like the vast majority of her Cabinet colleagues – is happy to stand
outside the prison and make announcements but refuses to act on the issues right
in front of her,” Ms Haddad said.

“Ms
Archer has done this again today as the prison routinely enters lockdown with
staff at breaking point and with no option but to walk off the job to get their
voices heard.

“Ms Archer either needs to provide
Tasmanians with actual detail of what she is going to do to resolve the
situation or concede that she has lost control of the prison and hand
responsibility to someone who is prepared to act.

“What is she doing to secure more
resources, more training and more staff to provide safety to staff and inmates?

“What is she doing to provide
opportunities for rehabilitation which she is clearly not delivering with
inmates routinely locked down for 24 hours
at a time and days on end without access to
education or training programs that might be improve their chances of not
becoming part of the prison’s revolving door.

“What is she doing to increase
safety and prevent the danger of corrections officers being assaulted at work?

“What is she doing to listen to
staff on the frontline instead of ignoring them and arrogantly dismissing their
concerns?

“The
recent Custodial Inspector’s report revealing fundamental denial of human
rights should have rung alarm bells for Ms Archer.

“But
the Attorney-General simply does not understand you cannot have a functioning
justice system without a functioning prison system.

“Risdon Prison just cannot remain in this extremely precarious position but it appears nothing will change on Ms Archer’s watch.”

Ella Haddad MP

Shadow Corrections Minister

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization/author(s)and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.