Health is­sues mak­ing Skin­ner’s time harder

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Janessa Eck­ert

A PORT Dou­glas woman, who is a pris­oner at the Townsville Womens Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre, is forced to rely on other in­mates for daily as­sis­tance.

Jill Pa­tience Skin­ner suf­fers from de­gen­er­a­tive health is­sues and re­quires daily per­sonal care.

Last month she went into cus­tody after a Cairns Supreme Court jury found her guilty of at­tempt­ing to im­port a bor­der con­trolled sub­stance into Aus­tralia.

A pack­age con­tain­ing just over two kilo­grams of methy­lam­phetamine, worth about $200,000 whole­sale, had been ad­dressed to her, which she was to re­ceive for a friend for money. Supreme Court Jus­tice James Henry asked Queens­land Cor­rec­tive Ser­vices how it would man­age Skin­ner’s med­i­cal con­di­tions.

“Ms Skin­ner does not have ac­cess to a trained or qual­i­fied carer at Townsville Women’s Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre,” he said.

An­other pris­oner was em- ployed full time as her carer to help with show­er­ing, dress­ing, mov­ing about the com­plex and some­times feed­ing.

“Other pris­on­ers are re­luc­tant to take on the po­si­tion … or re­main long term due to the de­mand­ing na­ture of the work and not know­ing her,” Jus­tice Henry said.

She will re­main in cus­tody un­til Novem­ber 11 serv­ing four months of a 2½ year sen­tence and be re­leased on a good be­hav­iour bond.

“The ma­te­rial tends to sug­gest ... that Cor­rec­tive Ser­vices, I in­fer be­cause of fund­ing is­sues, does not have the ca­pac­ity to man­age your med­i­cal con­di­tions as well as would oc­cur were you ... within the com­mu­nity,” Jus­tice Henry said.

“It is not an en­tirely sur­pris­ing re­al­ity that the ex­ec­u­tive arm of the gov­ern­ment doesn’t com­mit funds with the same pri­or­ity to a task of this kind as ap­plied to other ar­eas of pri­or­ity … or at least other ar­eas the ex­ec­u­tive per­ceives the tax­pay­ers con­sider to be a pri­or­ity.”

Jilly Skin­ner

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