‘Don’t be so judgmental’.
Photo Courtesy of: Google
ACCORDING TO THOSE who should know, both guests and staff, the initials MRC stand for the Marriott Recreation Complex.
And therein lies the scandal. Its real name is the Metropolitan Remand Centre, the big prison just outside Melbourne which suffered millions of taxpayer dollar damage in the smoking riot last year.
It is a summer camp with a few padlocks. A bit like our other prisons. I know. I've been a guest in four of them In Langi Kal Kal, I had more high quality meat in a week than a pensioner could afford in a month.
That’s why it is a cruel joke when the Sex Party campaigns for 'more humane' treatment of prisoners and says it would be 'dangerous' to have Hinch in the Senate. Why? Because I would show more concern for the victims and their families than the crims who made them victims and destroyed their lives?
I want to hand over the rest of this column today to a man who knows more about the cushy world behind bars than most of you. His name is Kristian Nelson. He's a stalwart volunteer for Derryn Hinch' s Justice Party and has been driving our Justice Bus Jnr for months.
He is also a former prison guard for the Victorian Corrections Department.
He told me the Marriott Recreation Complex joke.
my sadness and horror
Let this experience of his sink in and then tell me I'm on the wrong track:
By Kristian Nelson
I once was required to complete an assessment on a convicted child sex offender. He had downloaded and shared, across the world, more than 100,000 images of child pornography, with some as young as nine- months-old. He had sexually abused children, made videos of these horrific crimes, written about other acts he would do to children upon his release, and how he enjoyed what he did.
He got just 18 months imprisonment. When I mentioned my sadness and horror to a senior manager at Corrections Victoria HQ about what I had read, her answer was simply: ‘These are people too. They deserve a chance. Don’t be so judgmental’.
With attitudes in head office like this, the victims never had a bloody chance.
As a person who has worked within the custodial arena, sentence management branch, offender management, and community corrections, I have seen, from the inside, how the system is consistently favouring the offender and failing the victim.
Millions of dollars have been spent, and will continue to be spent, on offender management programs and crime prevention policy that have absolutely no hope of preventing crime.
Our legal system (we don’t have a justice one) is so out of touch that when I worked for CV I consistently had illicit drug mules who had travelled from Asian countries tell me that ‘if I get caught here, I’ll only serve 12-18 months, if I did it in my own country I’d get a bullet to the head’.
No remorse, no regrets
I’ve supervised hundreds of sex offenders, and over the years have consistently listened to them say that the only reason they’ll complete the sex offender programs is to get parole. No remorse, no regrets, and no thought for the victims whose lives are ruined forever. I, and many of my past colleagues, have tried to advocate our concerns to CV HQ, but always with deaf ears.
I also had to endure, bite my tongue and suck up the fact, that on one particular occasion, a child killer, among other rapists, and sexual offenders,enjoyed, in prison a visit and cake with a serving Victorian mayor. What did the victims of these offenders get, just another day which is simply a living nightmare.
I have seen serious violent criminals and sex offenders able to change religion at will, in order to obtain better food and money credit options, depending on what religious celebration is happening at the time.
With nearly 80% of convicted sex offenders re-offending on parole or whilst on supervision orders, and 50% of mainstream offenders re-committing crimes on the outside -- and this after completing so called intense rehabilitation programs -- victims and the community as a whole are the only people who continue to suffer.
Magistrates and Judges continue to hand out Community Corrections Orders with all sorts of conditions attached. This all looks good on paper, but coming from someone who has worked with these offenders, the order is often worth less than the ink it’s written with. Conditions such as curfews. If an offender has a curfew of 12.00am, who would ever know.?
they are blamed
If an offender is banned from visiting licensed premises, who would know.? At Community Corrections, I was expected to supervise nearly 80 offenders at one time. It was said to me that I should never supervise more than 40. Every one of my colleagues endures the same unworkable load of offenders, and when all goes wrong they are blamed. The government needs to listen and implement ideas, programs and recommendation from those front line staff who deal with the brutal reality of a broken system every day. But they never will.
Good money just keeps being thrown after bad, and where is the crime rate today, after the CV budget hit more than $1 billion for the year?
Crime in Victoria is up 12.4%. CV and the judicial system should hang their heads in shame.