INDEPENDENT NEWS

Searches Would Treat Visitors Like Criminals

Published: Wed 18 Jul 2001 02:35 PM
Proposed Prison Searches Would Treat Visitors Like Criminals
Green Party Justice spokesperson Nandor Tanczos said today that strip-searching prison visitors would be stupid and irresponsible.
"Prison visits can be the only connection inmates have with normal society. To drive visitors away with humiliating strip-searches would lead to even higher reoffending rates than we already have".
A law review paper suggests legalising full body searches of prisoners (including anal and vaginal areas) and strip-searching visitors, in an attempt to reduce the use of drugs in prison. The draft document was written to assist the development of the proposed Corrections Act.
"Any attempt to routinely strip-search prison visitors would be totally outrageous. I am already hearing complaints from families that new regulations make visiting much more difficult. Strip-searching goes even further and treats them like they are the criminal.
"Their basic rights as a citizen would be taken away with their jailed father or husband."
Mr Tanczos also said full body searches of prisoners would be humiliating and demeaning for both prisoners and prison staff, and would irrevocably harm the relationship between the two.
"I back the Corrections Association's statement on the impact of this proposal on prison officers. I am also concerned about the impact on prisoners. Rather than looking at how to humiliate prisoners more, we should be looking at how to increase self respect and self responsibility".
"Instead of introducing measures that will just deter visits and hinder rehabilitation we should be increasing support for some of the very good alcohol and other drug rehabilitation programs that exist."
Ends

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