[oneworldlove] Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

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Feb 14, 2008, 3:10:20 AM2/14/08
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Here is a article from United Nations website, in an article, mentioned
"Remote Mind Control"

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/docs/ngos/NSWCCL.Add.1.pdf

NEW SOUTH WALES COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES

*Addendum
Shadow Report
prepared for the
United Nations Committee Against Torture
on the occasion of its review of
Australia's Third Periodic Report under the
Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment
*
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum)

*About the NSW Council for Civil Liberties*
The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (`CCL') is committed to
protecting and promoting civil liberties and human rights in Australia.
CCL is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and
Social Council of the United Nations, by resolution 2006/221 (21 July
2006).
CCL was established in 1963 and is one of Australia's leading human
rights and civil liberties organisations. Our aim is to secure the equal
rights of everyone in Australia and oppose any abuse or excessive power
by the State against its people.
To this end CCL attempts to influence public debate and government
policy on a range of human rights issues. We try to secure amendments to
laws, or changes in policy, where civil liberties and human rights are
not fully respected.
We also listen to individual complaints and, through volunteer efforts,
attempt to help members of the public with civil liberties problems. We
prepare submissions to government, conduct court cases defending
infringements of civil liberties, engage regularly in public debates,
produce publications, and conduct many other activities.

*Abbreviations
*
ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation
ASIO Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
CAT Convention Against Torture & other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment
CCL NSW Council for Civil Liberties
Cth Commonwealth of Australia
DCS NSW Department of Corrective Services
HREOC Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia's NHRI)
HRMU High Risk Management Unit (at Goulburn Correctional Centre, NSW)
ICCPR International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
MHRT Mental Health Review Tribunal
MRRC Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre (Silverwater, Sydney, NSW)
NSW New South Wales
UNHRC United Nations Human Rights Committee
USA United States of America
Vic Victoria
WA Western Australia

/Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties
(Addendum) /

*Table of Contents*

1. NOTE ON
ADDENDUM................................................................4
2. ARTICLE 16: CRUEL, INHUMAN, DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT.5
2.1 SUPERMAX PRISON: HIGH RISK MANAGEMENT
UNIT.............................................5
2.1.1
background.....................................................................................................................5

2.1.2 `the worst of the worst': placement in the HRMU as
retribution..........................6
2.1.3
segregation.................................................................................................................7

2.1.4 the mental health of HRMU inmates
generally.......................................................8
2.1.5 placement of the mentally ill in the
HRMU............................................................9
2.1.6
conditions...........................................................................................12

2.1.7 no right of review of placement in the
HRMU.....................................13
2.1.8 political
interference.......................................................................14

2.1.9 other supermax prisons in
Australia.........................................................15
3.
NOTES........................................................................................16


/Page 3 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

*1. Note on Addendum*

A1. On 30 July 2007, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (`CCL')
submitted to the UN Committee against Torture a Shadow Report to
Australia's Third periodic report (`the Third Report').1 The Shadow
Report relates to Australia's compliance with its obligations under the
Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment (`the Convention').

A2. This document is an addendum to that Shadow Report. It offers
further material to support CCL's recommendation that:2 ?the State Party
invite the Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit the `supermax'
prison-within-a-prison (High Risk Management Unit) at the Goulburn
Correctional Centre.

A3. This Addendum relates to the High Risk Management Unit (`HRMU') at
the Goulburn Correctional Centre in New South Wales. More information
about the HRMU, specifically the placement of terrorist suspects in the
facility, is available in CCL's Shadow Report.3

/Page 4 16 September 2007/

*2. Article 16: cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment *

2.1 Supermax prison: High Risk Management Unit
The Committee remains concerned about the extremely harsh regime imposed on
detainees in "supermaximum prisons". The Committee is concerned about
the prolonged isolation periods detainees are subjected to, the effect
such treatment has on their mental health, and that its purpose may be
retribution, in which case it would constitute cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment (art. 16).
The State party should review the regime imposed on detainees in
"supermaximum prisons", in particular the practice of prolonged isolation.
Committee against Torture, Conclusions and Recommendations: USA (July 2006)
CAT/C/USA/CO/2, [36].

*2.1.1 background*

A4. Australia's first `supermax' prison was opened in June 2001.4 The
High Risk Management Unit (`HRMU'), a prison within a prison, was built
inside the Goulburn Correctional Centre at a cost of $25.188 million
($US20.7m).5

A5. From the day it was opened the HRMU has attracted controversy. The
regime within the HRMU is very strict and involves the routine
segregation of inmates. Inmates are unable to appeal their placement in
the facility. Remand and convicted inmates with mental illnesses have
been, and are still, housed in the HRMU: a situation which the Human
Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission found was contrary to Articles 7
and 10 of the ICCPR; and which a parliamentary inquiry and a coronial
inquest considered unsatisfactory. The NSW Ombudsman has reported and
verified some of the complaints made by inmates about conditions within
the HRMU. The NSW courts have recognised the harshness of conditions
inside the supermax prison. There have also been allegations of
political interference in the operation of the facility.

A6. Despite the weight of criticism, the NSW government maintains that
the HRMU does not contravene the Convention against Torture.6 CCL is
concerned that conditions in the `supermax' facility could constitute a
violation of Article 16 of the Convention and this Addendum details
those concerns. CCL reiterates its recommendation from its Shadow Report:7
CCL recommends that the State Party invite the Special Rapporteur on
Torture to visit the `supermax' prison-within-a-prison (High Risk
Management Unit) at the Goulburn Correctional Centre.
The Special Rapporteur should take the opportunity to speak to the
inmates, their families and their legal representatives, as well as
representatives of the NSW Ombudsman, HREOC and non-government
organisations representing civil society.

/Page 5 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

*2.1.2 `the worst of the worst': placement in the HRMU as retribution*

A7. In 1996, the US National Institute of Corrections defined a
`supermax' facility as:8 A freestanding facility, or a distinct unit
within a freestanding facility, that provides for the management and
secure control of inmates who have been officially designated as
exhibiting violent or seriously disruptive behavior while incarcerated.
Such inmates have been determined to be a threat to safety and security
in traditional high-security facilities and their behavior can be
controlled only by separation, restricted movement, and limited access
to staff and other inmates.

A8. The Goulburn HRMU satisfies this definition of an American
`supermaximum' prison. According to the NSW Department of Corrective
Services' own operations manual:9
The High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) at Goulburn Correctional Complex is
a 75-bed purpose-built maximum-security facility to accommodate male
inmates who have been assessed as posing a high security risk to the
community, correctional centre staff and/or other correctional centre
inmates or present a serious threat to the security and good order of a
correctional centre.

A9. When considering the placement of an inmate in the HRMU, the
Department considers the following factors:10

? escape risk beyond the management capacity of secure correctional centres

? high public interest due to extremely serious criminal activities

? organising or perpetrating serious criminal activity whilst in custody

A10. When opening the HRMU, NSW Premier Bob Carr stated that the HRMU
would house:11
?the worst [inmates] in the NSW prison system?these are the psychopaths,
the career criminals, the violent standover men, the paranoid inmates
and gang leaders.

A11. CCL is concerned that some inmates are being placed in the HRMU for
other than legitimate reasons. CCL submits that, while it is legitimate
to separate from the general prison population those inmates who present
a serious physical risk to prison staff and to other inmates, it is not
legitimate to place inmates in the HRMU because they present a `high
security risk to the community' or because there is `high public
interest due to extremely serious criminal activities'. Placing people
in the HRMU because of the nature of, or public interest in, the crimes
they have committed amounts to double punishment. Nor is it appropriate
to place

/Page 6 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

inmates in the HRMU simply because they are deemed to be `psychopaths',
`career criminals' or `paranoid'. Some HRMU placements seem to be
motivated by retribution, rather than any legitimate concern for prison
security. Other placements seem to be motivated by a desire on the part
of some populist politicians to be seen to be `tough on crime'.

A12. CCL endorses the following statement of illegitimate purpose for
supermax prisons, which was published in a recent US report:12 The
purpose of such facilities is not, or should not be, to exact additional
punishment. Nor should such a facility be used as the repository for
inmates who are simply bothersome, self destructive, or mentally ill;
who need protection; or who have an infectious disease.

A13. CCL also notes that the Nagle Royal Commission into NSW prisons in
1978 called for the closure of the Katingal prison-within-a-prison,
which in many ways was a prototype of today's supermaximum prisons. The
Royal Commissioner recommended that `the most dangerous prisoners should
be dispersed throughout the corrections system rather than concentrated
in one place'.13 By creating the HRMU, NSW authorities appear to have
forgotten or ignored the lessons of the Royal Commission.

*2.1.3 segregation*

The Committee is of the view that solitary confinement is a harsh
penalty with serious psychological consequences and is justifiable only
in case of urgent need; the use of solitary confinement other than in
exceptional circumstances and for limited periods is inconsistent with
article 10, paragraph 1, of the Covenant.
UN Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations: Denmark (2000)
CCPR/CO/70/DNK, [12].

A14. When inmates first arrive at the HRMU, they are placed in "Unit 7"
for assessment by prison staff.14 During the course of this assessment
inmates are the subject of a `segregated custody direction'.15 The
process of assessment is meant to take two weeks, but it has been known
to take `significantly longer' in some cases.16 In two reported cases,
this process took over one month.17

A15. HRMU inmates can also be the subject of a segregation custody
direction at the discretion of prison staff.

A16. In segregation, all of an inmate's personal items are taken from
them. They are kept in a cell measuring 2 by 3 metres. Inmates are not
allowed to associate with other inmates.18 However, segregated inmates
can converse `relatively freely' in the rear caged yards of their
cells,19 when prison staff permit inmates to enter the rear yards and
only then for a limited number of hours. Under segregation, inmates are
generally kept in their cells for 22 hours a day.

A17. In 2006, a NSW parliamentary inquiry established that some inmates
were held in segregation, denied the right to associate with other
inmates, without the appropriate legal procedure of placing the inmate

/Page 7 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

under a segregated custody direction.20 The significance of this is that
those inmates had no avenue to appeal their segregation, because they
are not the subject of an official administrative direction and
therefore the courts have no power to intervene. In 2005, the NSW
Ombudsman reported that two inmates had been illegally held in
segregation without segregated custody orders.21

A18. The parliamentary committee recommended that all HRMU inmates
denied association with other inmates should be placed under a
segregated custody direction.22 It is encouraging that the Department of
Corrective Services advised the committee that it supported this
recommendation.23


*2.1.4 the mental health of HRMU inmates generally*

A19. CCL is concerned that the administrators of the HRMU do not take
the mental health of those in their care seriously enough. In 2005, the
Clinical Director at the HRMU was asked about the impact of confinement
on the mental health of inmates and in reply he stated his belief
that:24 ?in terms of evidence that long-term incarceration or
incarceration in more restricted conditions contributes to poorer mental
health, I don't think there's a great deal of evidence to support that.
?Where there have been studies done even on, say, 60-day segregation
orders or something like that, there has been no deterioration in the
mental health status of inmates on those kind of orders. Longer term I
think the jury's still out.

A20. This opinion is contrary to the evidence provided by psychiatric
experts in the NSW Coroner's Court:25
All of the psychiatrists who gave evidence stated that prolonged periods
in solitary confinement would most likely exacerbate an inmate's mental
illness, particularly if he were suffering from paranoia. As Dr Lewin
commented,
"Solitary confinement is not a medical treatment. There is no
circumstance in which that is appropriate in the care of a mentally ill
person. ?I regard it as fundamentally inappropriate for someone as
disturbed as this man [Scott Simpson] to be in solitary confinement
outside hospital."

A21. A recent report of the Inspector of Custodial Services in Western
Australia suggests that the `studies' to which the HRMU's Clinical
Director refers simply do not exist:26
A review of the literature by Haney could find no study where a
significant negative impact was not seen when solitary confinement was
enforced for prolonged periods. Further, the more isolated and punitive
the confinement, the more negative the impact was found to be. This has
even been found in segregations of relatively short duration. The risk
of negative complications has been found to be

/Page 8 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

greatest in the mentally ill and those with a predisposition for mental
illness but has been shown to impact on all prisoners. Severe punishment
or restrictions on prisoners have also not been associated with
meaningful reductions in prisoners' disruptive behaviour. The available
prison studies (most of which are of questionable rigour and design)
show a strong negative impact on the prisoner.

A22. CCL is concerned that the conditions in the HRMU are having an
adverse impact on the mental health of its inmates. The situation is
even more dire for inmates in the facility who suffer a mentally illness.

*2.1.5 placement of the mentally ill in the HRMU*

I would rather be dead than get this torcher every day 24/7 non stop.
Scott Simpson, HRMU inmate (May 2003)
?the Commission submits that Mr Simpson's protracted detention in
isolation from all other inmates was inconsistent with the right to be
treated with humanity and dignity within article 10(1) and the
prohibition on inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment within
article 7 of the ICCPR.
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
Submission to Inquest into the Death of Scott Simpson (2006), [4.16].

A23. When a prisoner in New South Wales is found not guilty of an
offence by reason of mental illness, they become a `forensic patient'
and are held indefinitely in prison "at the Governor's pleasure". A
prisoner can also become a `forensic patient' by being found by a court
to be unfit to be tried or by developing a mental illness while
incarcerated. After expert psychiatric assessment, the NSW Mental Health
Review Tribunal (`MHRT') can recommend to the NSW Health Minister that a
forensic patient be released, subject to conditions if necessary, when
the MHRT is satisfied that the safety of the patient or any member of
the public will not be seriously endangered by the person's release.27
The Minister is not obliged to adopt these recommendations. This
Executive discretion amounts to a ministerial veto power and has been
heavily criticised by the legal profession and mental health advocates.28

A24. Most mentally ill inmates in NSW are kept in the general prison
population. They are not automatically transferred to hospitals, because
of a lack of hospital resources to cope with the increasing numbers of
mentally ill inmates. In 2006, the Department of Corrective Services
admitted to a NSW parliamentary committee that some HRMU inmates are
mentally ill.29 More widely, the solitary confinement of mentally ill
inmates is practiced across Australia to varying degrees.30

A25. In 2006, a NSW parliamentary committee recommended a review of the
policy of referring mentally ill inmates to the HRMU.31 The NSW
government ignored this recommendation. Instead, the government pointed
to evidence (given by departmental officiers) that staff at the HRMU
cooperate with health professionals to monitor the mental health of HRMU
inmates. The effectiveness of that `cooperation' was put into

/Page 9 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

serious question by the findings of the NSW Deputy Coroner when her
Honour conducted a coronial inquest in 2006 into the death of Mr Scott
Simpson.

A26. The case of Mr Scott Simpson illustrates the plight of the mentally
ill in NSW prisons. Mr Simpson, a paranoid schizophrenic, was held on
remand in the HRMU for almost 12 months. For a considerable amount of
that time, Mr Simpson was held in segregation and denied association
with other inmates.

A27. On 30 March 2002, Scott Simpson was refused bail and placed in a
cell with Andrew Parfitt in the MRRC, a remand facility in Sydney.
Within 15 minutes Mr Simpson had brutally attacked his cell mate,
inflicting fatal injuries.32 Two years later, Mr Simpson was found not
guilty of Mr Parfitt's murder by reason of mental illness, based on
psychiatric evidence that Mr Simpson suffered from paranoid
schizophrenia and was suffering a psychotic episode when he attacked Mr
Parfitt.33 Within weeks of the verdict, Mr Simpson was found dead,
having hanged himself, in a prison cell in Sydney's Long Bay Gaol. The
corrective services officers who discovered Mr Simpson hanging from the
bars of his cell did not immediately attend him or attempt to
resuscitate him, because they feared for their own safety if Mr Simpson
was feigning his hanging.34

A28. Throughout his remand and after, Mr Simpson was never transferred
to the specialised `D Ward', the acute psychiatric wing in the prison
hospital at Sydney's Long Bay Gaol. Instead, Mr Simpson was kept in
Goulburn prison, where he was only given anti-psychotic medication and
offered no therapeutic treatment.35 The Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission detailed Mr Simpson's treatment in this way:36 In
April 2002, Mr Simpson was transferred from the MRRC to the Goulburn
correctional centre. He was initially housed in the Multi Purpose Unit
(`MPU') at Goulburn where he was placed on consecutive segregation orders.
In April 2003, he was transferred to the High Risk Management Unit
(`HRMU') where, for the most part, he remained on a segregation order.
The HRMU houses inmates who require a higher level of security and
management than can be provided by mainstream maximum security
institutions. During the periods 17 June 2003 to 21 September 2003 and
11 October 2003 to 6 November 2003, Mr Simpson was allowed to associate
with one other inmate. However, in the later of those two periods, the
association took place through a secure barrier. The decision to
terminate all associations in November 2003 was made for security
reasons, as the Deputy Governor of the HRMU considered that Mr Simpson
posed a risk to other inmates.
At the HRMU, Mr Simpson was allowed out of his cell into the `day yard'
for 2.5 hours each day and on occasion from 9am to 2.30pm. Again, the
`day yard' is an open air caged in area at the rear of the inmate's
cell. It is a little larger than a cell, and contains only a

/Page 10 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

concrete bench. Certain cells have access to a larger `day yard' (three
to four times the size of a cell). Inmates are moved every 28 days to
allow them occasional access to these larger yards.
?

A29. From his HRMU prison cell, in April and May 2003, Mr Simpson wrote:37
They took all my property. I'm in a cell with nothing. They are trying
to blackmail me by saying, `see the sych and take the medication he
wants you to take and we give you a radio and TV etc'? I will talk to
sychs just not jail sychs. I will not take any medication as what I am
experiencing is due to the fact certain Agencies mainly ASIO are
TORCHERING me and all other Inmates with "*REMOTE MIND CONTROL*".
Everyone knows this is no secret.
?
I would rather be dead than get this torcher every day 24/7 non stop.
The very fact I'm speaking about this shows how despret I am for this
TORCHER to stop. They can kill me with what I said by transmitting a
compensating demodulated waveform from a remote location witch in tern
effects the neurological (nervis system) and any region of the brain,
thoughts and emotions with a single measurement. Better known as
"*REMOTE MIND CONTROL*".

A30. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, as amicus
curiae, submitted to the NSW Deputy Coroner that Mr Simpson's treatment
amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment:38
The Commission submits that Mr Simpson's detention in isolation from all
other inmates, for almost two years, was not compatible with the
standard of treatment required in respect of a seriously mentally ill
person detained on remand, and later as a forensic patient. In all the
circumstances, the Commission submits that Mr Simpson's protracted
detention in isolation from all other inmates was inconsistent with the
right to be treated with humanity and dignity within article 10(1) and
the prohibition on inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment within
article 7 of the ICCPR.

A31. The Department of Corrective Services operations manual states that
the inmate referral process to the HRMU includes input from health
professionals.39 That policy statement is seriously undermined by
evidence at Mr Simpson's coronial inquiry and the findings of the NSW
Deputy Coroner.

A32. Evidence at the coronial inquiry established that psychiatric and
nursing staff at Goulburn repeatedly recommended Mr Simpson's transfer
to hospital.40 One nurse even wrote to the director of mental health at
Justice Health, the government agency responsible for the health of NSW
inmates, concerned that the Department was breaching its duty of care to
Mr Simpson by keeping him at the HRMU.41

/Page 11 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

A33. The NSW Deputy Coroner was blunt in her assessment. Her Honour
found that:42 ?the HRMU is solely the domain of DCS. All decisions about
an HRMU inmate, including segregation, are made without any input from
Justice Health.

A34. The NSW Deputy Coroner recommended that the Department of
Corrective Services adopt the policy that inmates diagnosed with a
mental illness should be placed in segregation only in exceptional
circumstances and for a limited period.43 The NSW government has
responded by launching an inquiry to review the treatment of mentally
ill inmates and forensic patients in NSW prisons.44 The inquiry is
headed by the President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. To date,
the inquiry has not reported.


*2.1.6 conditions*

A35. Each cell in the HRMU measures two-by-three metres. Each cell
contains a bed, shelf, toilet and basin.45 Inmates remain alone in their
cells from 16 to 22 hours a day.46 Inmate complaints about lack of fresh
air and natural light have been investigated by the NSW Ombudsman, who
reported that:47
The entire unit is air-conditioned and most cells have both yards and
day rooms. Except for lock downs, inmates have access to their day room
during `out of cell hours'. They also have access to the yards attached
to the cells for a number of hours on most days. These yards are open to
the fresh air. There is also some access to sports yards, but that
depends on staff availability, inmate privilege and association levels.

A36. The Ombudsman also reported that there were problems with the air
conditioning and that vents are placed immediately above inmates'
beds.48 The Ombudsman also reported that a strip window in each cell
allows in natural light.

A37. During evidence to a parliamentary committee, the Corrective
Services Commissioner was asked about whether the conditions in the HRMU
meet the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Mr
Woodham expressed the view that the UN rules are out-of-date and that it
`was not intended that all of the rules would be applicable to all
countries at all times'.49

A38. Though NSW courts are extremely reluctant to intervene in the
administration of NSW prisons,50 the courts have accepted that the harsh
regime in the HRMU may constitute a mitigating circumstance on sentence,
especially for remand inmates.51

A39. Inmates in the HRMU are subject to a `hierarchy of privileges and
sanctions':52
All inmates in the HRMU are managed on the basis of a behaviour

/Page 12 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

modification program which links behaviour changes to a hierarchy of
privileges and sanctions and progression criteria. Inmates can progress
through a number of stages: stages 1, 2, and 3 are conducted at the HRMU.

A40. The NSW Ombudsman made these observations about the hierarchy of
privileges and sanctions:53
All inmates in the HRMU are subject to a hierarchy of sanctions and
privileges. This hierarchy governs things like the property they can
have in their cell, how many phone calls they can make each week, how
often they can have visitors, and whether or not they are allowed to
associate with anyone other than staff.

A41. This system of privileges also governs whether inmates can
associate with other inmates. At first, inmates cannot associate with
others. Gradually, inmates can associate only with inmates nominated by
prison staff. Later, some inmates can choose with whom they will
associate. However, only two inmates may associate at any one time and
they will always be outnumbered by prison staff.54

A42. CCL notes that the Nagle Royal Commission into NSW prisons in 1978
was highly critical of the scaled system of rewards and privileges used
in the Katingal supermax facility.55 Despite this criticism by the Royal
Commissioner, the hierarchy of sanctions and privileges implemented in
the HRMU closely resembles the flawed and discredited system used in
Katingal. It appears that the lessons of the Royal Commission have been
forgotten.

*2.1.7 no right of review of placement in the HRMU*

A43. HRMU inmates can complain about their conditions to the governor of
the facility, the NSW Ombudsman and the Official Visitor. Though, those
held on terrorism-related charges are not permitted to see the Official
Visitor.56

A44. The NSW Ombudsman began receiving complaints about the HRMU almost
as soon it was opened. In December 2001, a complaint was received by the
first remand prisoner placed in the HRMU, who was subjected to the same
tough restrictions as convicted inmates: namely, one visit a week from
his family.57 After the Ombudsman's intervention, the remand prisoner
was permitted two family visits a week.

A45. The Ombudsman sends officers to the HRMU twice a year to inspect
records and interview inmates.58 Over recent years the Ombudsman has
noted a drop in complaints from HRMU inmates, which the Ombudsman
attributes to disaffection with the complaints procedure rather than any
improvement in conditions:59
The number of complaints from inmates in the high risk management
unit?dropped slightly in the past year. It is likely that a contributing
factor to this is the fact that we have no power to help them with their

/Page 13 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

major complaint, which is their continued placement in the HRMU, and
inmates are becoming aware of this.

A46. There is no mechanism for HRMU inmates to challenge their placement
and continued detention in the facility.60 The courts have no power to
intervene. The Ombudsman has expressed concerned that good behaviour in
the facility will not necessarily be enough to lead to placement
elsewhere.61 The Corrective Services Commissioner is of the view that
some HRMU inmates will remain in the facility for the term of their
natural lives.62

*2.1.8 political interference*

A47. Allegations of political interference in the running of the HRMU
are often raised. CCL is concerned that this interference is
illegitimate and that there is no remedy available to inmates who are
adversely affected by it.

A48. One example of political interference occurred in June 2006, when a
tabloid newspaper ran a front-page campaign against one inmate who had
been granted access to a sandwich-maker and television in his cell at
the HRMU.63 These privileges were the result of his good behaviour in
the facility. The inmate concerned was a sentenced serial murderer and
had attempted to escape from prison on several occasions. In response to
the tabloid campaign, the state Opposition spokesman described
conditions in the HRMU as akin to `holiday units' and victim support
groups expressed their outrage.

A49. The very same day, the NSW Premier called a media conference to
announce that the television and sandwich-maker had been taken off the
inmate.64 Premier Iemma was reported to be `disturbed' that the inmate
had been given the items.65 The Premier ordered the Corrective Services
Commissioner to review the hierarchy of privileges and sanctions in the
HRMU. The inmate concerned threatened to kill himself and was placed on
suicide watch.66 After a review of the privileges system, these items
were returned to the inmate ? about four weeks after they were removed.67

A50. There have also been a constant stream of selective government and
departmental leaks from the HRMU to the popular media. So much so, that
an opposition spokesman accused the government of using the HRMU as a
`freak show to generate stories proving it is tough on violent
criminals'.68 One high-profile inmate of the HRMU, convicted of
aggravated sexual assault in company, was the subject of several of
these leaks to the media.69 Government officials released CCTV footage
of the inmate's mother accepting letters from the inmate during a visit;
and, they also released some of the inmate's correspondence to the
media. Another inmate's x-rays were released to the media.70 When the
NSW Privacy Commissioner suggested that these breaches of privacy might
lead to compensation for these inmates and their families, the NSW
government rushed legislation through Parliament to change the law to

/Page 14 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

ensure that they could not be compensated.71 According to the
government:72 ?criminals whose crimes are so serious that they warrant
incarceration should not enjoy the full range of remedies available to
others when their rights are infringed. In particular, the
Government?believes that the right to damages for breaches of privacy is
not a right that should be extended to prisoners or their relatives,
friends or associates.

A51. Even the parliamentary committee enquiring into the HRMU was not
immune from the political controversy that attaches to the facility. On
23 March 2006, members of the parliamentary committee visited the HRMU
(but they did not meet any of the inmates). Significantly, committee
members from both major political parties combined to deny the Greens
MP, Ms Lee Rhainnon who is a long-time critic of the facility, the right
to join the visiting delegation to the HRMU.73

*2.1.9 other supermax prisons in Australia*

A52. Australia's second supermax prison, the Melaleuca High Security
Unit, was opened in Victoria in August 2007.74 Victoria has a statutory
bill of rights which prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment.75 As a consequence, the Melaleuca facility is not expected
to exhibit the problems inherent in the HRMU at Goulburn in NSW.

A53. In 2005, an independent inquiry into prisons in Western Australia
concluded that that State did not immediately need a supermax
facility.76 A parallel inquiry by the WA Inspector of Custodial Services
concluded that a supermax facility should be built, but rejected the
`separation, isolation and restrictive movement' model used by US
supermax facilities (and at the HRMU).77 Western Australia is also
considering the introduction of a statutory bill of rights.78

A54. Neither New South Wales nor the federal Commonwealth of Australia
have bills of rights and there is, therefore, no statutory or
constitutional prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment in those jurisdictions.

/Page 15 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (Addendum) /

*3. Notes*
1 NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Shadow Report (prepared for the
United Nations Committee Against Torture on the occasion of its review
of Australia's Third Periodic Report under the Convention Against
Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment),
27 July 2007,
<http://www.nswccl.org.au/docs/pdf/CAT%20shadow%20report.pdf>.
2 NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Shadow Report, n 1, [194].
3 NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Shadow Report, n 1, [184]-[194].
4 Linda Doherty, `High-security Prison To House The Very Worst', Sydney
Morning Herald (Sydney), 2 June 2001, 6; and, Luke McIlveen, `Worst
killers get a jail of their own', The Australian (Sydney), 2 June 2001, 5.
5 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, Issues
relating to the operations and management of the Department of
Corrective Services (June 2006) [4.1],
<http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/PARLMENT/Committee.nsf/0/FEA6EE9D24D0E7F5CA2570C300016768>.

6 NSW, Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Council, 17 November 2004,
12953 (John Hatzistergos, Minister for Justice).
7 NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Shadow Report, n 1, [194].
8 quoted in: Chase Riveland, Supermax Prisons: Overview and General
Considerations (January 1999)
<http://www.nicic.org/pubs/1999/014937.pdf>, 3; and reproduced in
Mahoney, n 76, [5.4].
9 NSW Department of Corrective Services, Inmate and Classification
Procedures Manual (November 2005) 222-4; reproduced at
<http://www.nswccl.org.au/docs/dcs/CLASSMAN_UPD%202005%20DRAFT%204%20-%20interim.doc>.

10 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5, [4.38].
11 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5, [4.1].
12 Riveland, n 8, 22.
13 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5, [4.16].
14 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5, [4.47].
15 NSW Department of Corrective Services, Inmate and Classification
Procedures Manual, n 9, 222-4.
16 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5,
[4.109]. See also: NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Shadow Report, n 1,
[186].
17 Neal Funnell, `Where the Norm is not the Norm: Goulburn Correctional
Centre and the Harm-U', annexed to Justice Action, Submission to Inquiry
into Issues Relating to the Operations and Management of the Department
of Corrective Services (March 2006),
<http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/PARLMENT/Committee.nsf/0/1854b771eae2071dca257140000a76a2/$FILE/sub%20028.pdf>.

18 NSW Ombudsman, Annual Report 2004-2005 (2005),
<http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/show.asp?id=394>, 111-2.
19 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5, [4.107].
20 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5,
[4.118]-[4.121].
21 NSW Ombudsman, Annual Report 2004-2005 (2005),
<http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/show.asp?id=394>, 111-2.
22 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5,
recommendation 7.
23 Minister for Justice (Tony Kelly MLC), Government Response to
Legislative Council Inquiry into Issues relating to the operations and
management of the Department of Corrective Services (15 January 2007),
3,
<http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/PARLMENT/Committee.nsf/0/ead3d0609ce89607ca2571840001d322/$FILE/070115%20Government%20Response.pdf>.

24 ABC TV, `Supermax', n 46.
25 Inquest into the Death of Scott Ashley Simpson, n 32, 16.
26 WA Inspector of Custodial Services, n 77, [5.6].
Page 16 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties
(Addendum) 27 Mental Health Act 1990 (NSW) Ch 5.
28 e.g. NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Submission to the Review of the
Forensic Provisions of the Mental Health Act (March 2007), [9]-[11],
<http://www.nswccl.org.au/docs/pdf/forensic%20mental%20health%20FB%20Mar%2007.pdf>.

29 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5, [4.124].
30 Elisabeth Wynhausen, `Jailed in body and mind', The Australian
(Sydney), 28 August 2006, 10, reproduced at:
<http://www.ssristories.com/show.php?item=1087>.
31 Minister for Justice (Tony Kelly MLC), Government Response to
Legislative Council Inquiry into Issues relating to the operations and
management of the Department of Corrective Services (15 January 2007),
4,
<http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/PARLMENT/Committee.nsf/0/ead3d0609ce89607ca2571840001d322/$FILE/070115%20Government%20Response.pdf>.

32 Inquest into the Death of Scott Ashley Simpson (17 July 2006) NSW
Deputy State Coroner,
<http://www.agd.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/Coroners_Court/ll_coroners.nsf/vwFiles/SimpsonInquest.doc/$file/SimpsonInquest.doc>,
1.
33 Inquest into the Death of Scott Ashley Simpson, n 32, 1.
34 Inquest into the Death of Scott Ashley Simpson, n 32, 17.
35 Inquest into the Death of Scott Ashley Simpson, n 32, 10.
36 Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Written Submissions to
the NSW Coroner's Inquest into the Death of Scott Simpson (27 June 2006)
<http://www.humanrights.gov.au/legal/submissions_court/intervention/simpson.html>,
[4.9]-[4.10], [4.13].
37 Neal Funnell, `Where the Norm is not the Norm: Goulburn Correctional
Centre and the Harm-U', n 17.
38 HREOC, n 36, [4.16].
39 NSW Department of Corrective Services, Inmate and Classification
Procedures Manual, n 9, 223.
40 Richard Guilliatt, `Inquiry into death of mentally ill prisoner',
Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney), 16 July 2005, 4.
41 Natasha Wallace, `Suicide file went unread until prisoner found
hanging in his cell', Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney), 22 February 2006,
9. See also: Inquest into the Death of Scott Ashley Simpson, n 32, 9.
42 Inquest into the Death of Scott Ashley Simpson, n 32, 16.
43 Inquest into the Death of Scott Ashley Simpson, n 32, Recommendation 5.
44 NSW Department of Health, Review of the forensic provisions of the
Mental Health Act,
<http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pubs/2007/consultpaper.html>.
45 Linda Doherty, `High-security Prison To House The Very Worst', Sydney
Morning Herald (Sydney), 2 June 2001, 6.
46 ABC TV, `Supermax', Four Corners (7 November 2005),
<http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2005/s1499699.htm>.
47 NSW Ombudsman, Annual Report 2003-2004 (2004),
<http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/show.asp?id=237>, 90.
48 NSW Ombudsman, Annual Report 2003-2004 (2004),
<http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/show.asp?id=237>, 90.
49 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5,
[4.83]-[4.84].
50 R v Hamzy [2004] NSWCCA 243, [129]-[130],
<http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWCCA/2004/243.html>.
51 R v Penisini [2003] NSWSC 892, [103],
<http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/supreme_ct/2003/892.html>.
52 NSW Department of Corrective Services, Inmate and Classification
Procedures Manual, n 9, 222-4.
53 NSW Ombudsman, Annual Report 2005-2006 (2006),
<http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/show.asp?id=394>, 94.
54 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5,
[4.32]-[4.35].
55 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5, [4.18].
56 see NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Shadow Report, n 1, [189].
Page 17 16 September 2007
Australia: Shadow Report of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties
(Addendum) 57 NSW Ombudsman, Annual Report 2001-2002 (2002),
<http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/show.asp?id=112>, 62.
58 NSW Ombudsman, Submission to the Inquiry into Issues relating to the
operations and management of the Department of Corrective Services (18
January 2006),
<http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/PARLMENT/Committee.nsf/0/cead74373dd73db3ca25711700014401/$FILE/ATTJLH6Y/sub%20008.pdf>.

59 NSW Ombudsman, Annual Report 2005-2006 (2006),
<http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/show.asp?id=394>, 94.
60 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5, [4.41].
61 NSW Ombudsman, Annual Report 2005-2006 (2006),
<http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/show.asp?id=394>, 94.
62 General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3, NSW Parliament, n 5, [4.50].
63 Luke McIlveen, `Milat Prison Perks', Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 21
June 2006, 1.
64 Editorial, "Milat's perks an insult to victims", Daily Telegraph
(Sydney), 15 July 2007, 22. See also: Luke McIlveen, `Whinger Milat wins
back TV, toaster', Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 15 July 2006, 3. And see
also: ABC News, "Milat's privileges suspended after outcry", ABC
(Sydney), 21 June 2006,
<http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/06/21/1667867.htm>.
65 ABC News, `Milat on suicide watch amid privileges row', ABC (Sydney),
22 June 2006, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/06/22/1669152.htm>.
66 ABC News, `Milat on suicide watch amid privileges row', ABC (Sydney),
22 June 2006, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/06/22/1669152.htm>.
67 Editorial, "Milat's perks an insult to victims", Daily Telegraph
(Sydney), 15 July 2007, 22.
68 Stephen Gibbs, `Fear, Loathing And Politics', Sydney Morning Herald
(Sydney), 26 July 2003, 31, an extract appears at:
<http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/07/25/1059084204009.html>.
69 Stephen Gibbs, `Fear, Loathing And Politics', Sydney Morning Herald
(Sydney), 26 July 2003, 31, an extract appears at:
<http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/07/25/1059084204009.html>.
70 New South Wales, Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Council, 20
November 2002, 7045 (Mr Michael Egan, Vice-President of the Executive
Council).
71 Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment (Prisoners) Act
2002 (NSW).
72 Michael Egan (20 November 2002) n 70.
73 Lee Rhiannon, "Major parties vote to block Greens' Supermax visit"
(media release), 23 March 2006,
<http://lee.greens.org.au/index.php/content/view/937/50/>.
74 Premier of Victoria, `Premier Visits New High Security Unit at Barwon
Prison' (29 August 2007),
<http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/newsroom/news_item.asp?id=1123>.
75 Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) s.10(b).
76 Dennis Mahoney, Inquiry into the Management of Offenders in Custody
and in the Community (23 November 2005),
<http://www.slp.wa.gov.au/publications/publications.nsf/Inquiries+and+Commissions?openpage>,
[19.10]-[19.11].
77 Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services, Directed Review of the
Management of Offenders in Custody (November 2005),
<http://www.custodialinspector.wa.gov.au/files/00111_rp30-DirRevManageCustody1.pdf>.

78 see <http://www.humanrights.wa.gov.au/>.
Page 18 16 September 2007


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