Australia Northern Territory prisons at record levels of overcrowding

11:45  13 february  2018
11:45  13 february  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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The Alice Springs prison is more than 20 per cent over its design capacity and the Barkly work camp is at similar levels , February data shows.

Prison overcrowding is a social phenomenon occurring when the demand for space in prisons in a jurisdiction exceeds the capacity for prisoners in the place. Prison overcrowding can occur when the rate at which people are incarcerated exceeds the rate at which other prisoners are released or die

The Darwin Correctional Centre is 2.8 per cent over design capacity, according to the figures.© Provided by ABC News The Darwin Correctional Centre is 2.8 per cent over design capacity, according to the figures. Northern Territory prisons are again at record levels of overcrowding, according to new figures published by the NT Correctional Services department.

The Alice Springs prison is more than 20 per cent over its design capacity and the Barkly work camp is at similar levels, February data shows.

Darwin's prison at Holtze, which was almost full when it was opened in 2014, is now almost three per cent over capacity.

"NT Correctional Services is implementing a range of measures to manage growing prisoner numbers in the Territory's correctional centres and work camps, with prisoner numbers reaching an all-time high this week," the department said in a statement.

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Northern Territory prisons at record levels of overcrowding . More great news, this time in Queensland - where like the NT , there is no state level upper house - congratulations to Greens Michael Berkman who won a seat - the first (in an election) in the state.

Underfunded, Overcrowded State Prisons Struggle With Reform. It took a correctional officer's death for Delaware's legislature to address its prison problem. The prison holds all security levels of inmates, from those awaiting trial to those on death row.

It said there would be more double-bunking in Darwin's prison, with 40 additional beds, along with extra staff and an assessment of open rated prisoners for home detention or work camps.

Overall, the Northern Territory has about 1,800 prisoners, which is almost nine per cent over capacity.

The only facility with room is the Datjala work camp in Nhulunbuy, which is almost 90 per cent full.

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Campaigners have warned the levels of overcrowding in prisons , along with severe staff shortages, has created a “toxic” situation in the current prison system, and warned that the Government response of building large new prisons is not the correct approach.

Overcrowding . The current male and female prison population is 84,255, having almost doubled in 25 years. Self-harm. Currently at record levels , with 42,837 incidents – an average of 117 a day – documented during the year to September, an increase of 12%.

The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency's chief executive Priscilla Atkins said the under-resourcing of NT prisons had meant a reduction in rehabilitation programs.

Ms Atkins said the problem was being made worse by mandatory sentencing and so-called "street time" not being taken into account when parole was breached.

"It shouldn't be up to corrections," she said.

"They're the ones that have to pick up the pieces at the end, it should be the front end that the government should be investing in."

The Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said a recent spike in remand numbers was to blame.

He said he had asked the Attorney-General Natasha Fyles to investigate what was behind the surge.

"To respond to that, health are putting some extra beds into the Holtze prison to manage it," he said.

A Katherine prison alternative was flagged by Labor after the Holtze prison was built.

Mr Gunner said the idea was "taken off the table" by the Country Liberal Party.

"The Attorney-General is looking at those plans and the timing of what we can do to bring that online," he said.

"What we've been working on through the Aboriginal Justice Unit has been negotiations around community placement or community detention."

France plays catch-up coping with radicalized prisoners .
The truth is that making room for more returnees in French prisons, some built in the 19th century, could put new strains on the prison system — and be a tight squeeze. By December 2017, some prisons were over capacity by 220 percent, according to the Justice Ministry. It's not uncommon for numerous inmates to share a cell meant for one.Already there are 500 people convicted or awaiting trial for terrorism in French prisons, and 1,150 under watch for varying degrees of radicalization or potential radicalization — about 130 of them returnees from the war zone.

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