2 May 2007

Who watches the Watch-house?

We have such a problem with overcrowding in prisons, that remand prisoners are now being held in the City Watch-house. This is a facility designed to hold people only for short terms, following their arrest, and until they go to Court.

People held there do not get family visits, and often the time they need them most is when they are first remanded in custody. For a while, it was even difficult for them to get a visit with a lawyer, but that problem seems to have been fixed after I contacted the Minister for Correctional Services, Carmel Zollo, and her staff fixed the problem fairly quickly.

A number of my clients have described their feelings of isolation and helplessness, while held here. The continued imprisonment of the innocent in these harsh conditions must stop.

5 comments:

Jay said...

Mr Slade, I am interested to see you have taken the time to have a blog and that you're prepared to attack some of the incomprehensible manners in which remandees' are held in this State. I am a recently released remand prisoner and my experience was onerous in many aspects. I am looking into many aspects of not only remand prisoner conditions, but that of prisoners' as a whole. I would like to know if you or any other professional persons (you could refer me to) are either advocating or simply seeking to raise public awareness of the SA prison system and the lack of correction, commonly called "rehabilitation" which in my observations does not exist. I am also seeking answers through the State Ombudsman's Office, who I must say have been nothing more than a toothless tiger in my experience. I say this based on at least three serious and provable complaints I've made against the Department of Correctional Services, which have now reached six (6) months of age with no real action having been taken. There are very limited opportunities for education, work and other diversion programs in SA's jails and I feel these issues are omnipotent when a person is held in custody on remand and/or sentenced for an extended term. Please reply as you see fit and if you would like further information please contact me at stoopidjay@bigpond.com

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Julz Kayla said...

I just came across this post as I am looking for the number for the watchouse, I just found out my son is in there after being in yatala in G division under 23 hr lockdown, he was remanded in costody 6 mths ago, he had a court appearance 6 days ago and still remanded in costody.
Before he court last week he was in Pt Lincoln prison, he was put there because previous to that he was in yatala. The screws put my son (a remanded) in a cell with a convicted murderer who bashed him & broke his sternum, he was NOT taken to hospital until two days later only when he couldn't breathe.
I feel there is a major injustice here, and I feel helpless. Even the court proceedings were unfair Friday, the judge would not listen to the lawyer & it was quite obvious the the arresting police officers lied in court, their story's didn't match up & they gave so many "I can't recall" answers. I would like to know if there is someone or some place I can take my complaints to where it wouldn't affect my sons court case in a negative way.

Anonymous said...

my elsest son was remanded in custody after being charged with an offence yesterday, his lawyer told me i could contact corrections to find out where he had been taken and when i rang the remand centre was told they cant give me any information, being new to this i asked how the hell do i find out where my son is being held?? they relented and told me he was at the watchouse and took my number for him to contact me - however they are only allowed one call per day

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