Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion must be pri­or­ity

Mercury (Hobart) - - LETTERS -

WHAT the embattled Tas­ma­nia Prison Ser­vice so des­per­ately needs is many more peo­ple of the cal­i­bre of speech pathol­o­gist and crim­i­nol­o­gist Ros­alie Martin (“Pro­gram leader says hope is the key to help”, Mer­cury, Novem­ber 21).

No mat­ter how many more Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice of­fi­cers are trained, if the ap­pro­pri­ate re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion skills are not de­ployed then the prison sys­tem will just con­tinue to de­te­ri­o­rate rapidly. The State Gov­ern­ment re­ally should take very se­ri­ously the con­cerns and ad­vice of pro­fes­sion­als such as Tas­ma­nian Pris­on­ers Le­gal Ser­vice chair Greg Barns and Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia crim­i­nol­o­gist Rob White. As for the ra­tio­nale by the state gov­ern­ment in 2012 to de­com­mis­sion Hayes Prison Farm, where min­i­mum se­cu­rity in­mates worked on the farm and gained valu­able ex­per­tise, not to men­tion the ben­e­fits for their men­tal health and well­be­ing, it is a bloody dis­grace.

Chris Davey Lind­is­farne

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