International Prison News Highlights

Aboriginal men on trial in a still from Peter Weir's film The Last Wave (Photo:

Aboriginal men on trial in a still from Peter Weir’s film The Last Wave (Photo:

 Call for Aboriginal offenders to be diverted into treatment instead of prison

More than a quarter of Australia’s 29 000 inmates are Aboriginal people and many of them claim to have committed offences while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee is proposing that Aboriginal people with substance abuse problems who have committed non-violent crimes be diverted into treatment instead of prison. Read more.

Arrest of Iranian official implicated in prison deaths

Iran has arrested a senior official who was implicated in the torture and deaths of anti-government protesters at Kahrizak prison. Read more.

Vindication for prisoner families

The website of a CBS TV affiliate is reporting that  a US telecoms giant has agreed to pay prisoner families $45 million after lawsuit over expensive collect calls (where the person receiving the call has to pay for it). Read more.

Former inmate given a sporting chance

An American football team signed a player knowing he would have to serve a sentence for robbery. Now the player is out and can start training with the team. Read more.

 Closure of New York women’s prisons could affect families

New York governor Andrew Cuomo wants to close 2 “inefficient” women’s prisons, which means the inmates, many of whom are mothers, will have to be housed further away from their children. Tamar Kraft-Stolar, director of the Correctional Association’s Women in Prison Project, says “Children are harmed when they can’t see their mothers, and mothers risk not only losing touch with their children, but also sometimes losing their parental rights altogether.” Read more.


About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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