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Take specific, clear action on St Michael’s

Published: 
Monday, July 28, 2014

On Wednesday, Independent Senator Helen Drayton was exasperated about the Miscellaneous Provisions (Prisons) Bill, describing it as "a pretence at doing something.” 

There is clear need for an overhaul of the prisons system, and any effort to do so will now fall under the purview of a new body corporate, the Inspectorate of Prisons. But Senator Drayton could see no way that the bill would change the appalling conditions in the nations prisons or, more specifically, the St Michael’s Home for Boys or any other institution that’s meant to be playing a correctional role in the lives of young offenders.

“This bill could do nothing to unplug the pipeline of children entering the rooms of crime,” the Senator warned. Independent Senator Anthony Vieira was more specific, describing St Michael’s as an “anomaly” and calling for it to be either closed or declared a detention institution, which would place it under the supervision, direction and control of the Commissioner of Prisons.

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