Catholic Prison Ministry MEDIA RELEASE 22 JULY 2009
Catholic Prison Ministry is calling on the Queensland Government to abandon the Corrective Services and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 set to be voted on in two weeks. The Bill provides the Chief Executive of Queensland Corrective Services to freeze funds held in prisoner trust accounts. Under recent changes to the Corrective Services Regulations, the Queensland Corrective Services Chief Executive can then deduct funds from trust accounts to reimburse the State for payments made to victims of crime.
Queenslanders who has been wards of the state or who have spent time in Queensland institutions may be eligible for victim’s compensation through the Queensland Government’s Redress Scheme. Queensland prisoners who have received compensation are being asked to sign a deed, allowing for compensation to be placed into a prison trust account.
“These changes fail to recognise that these prisoners were child victims, violated and now violated again, and shows the Qld government is has little regard in redressing the abuse suffered by children in its care who are now troubled adults in need of help and support to get their lives on track.”
Many of the Redress applicants hardest hit will be Indigenous Australians who have experienced generations of abuse.
The proposed Legislative changes, to be voted on in two weeks time, will:
- Punish and silence survivors for reporting abuse who will also have to sign away their right to seek further compensation
- Ignore the different financial needs of short-term and long-term prisoners
- Impinge on basic needs and the human rights of those detained in Queensland
Catholic Prison Ministry believes that the Queensland Government should drop the Corrective Services and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 and remove from QCS Regulations the ability for the Chief Executive to hand Redress Scheme payments back to the State.
“Freezing and seizing child victim payouts is contrary to the intent of the Redress Scheme, worsening the sense of hopelessness suffered by child abuse survivors and exacerbating the risk of self-harm and social exclusion for already vulnerable people” said Dave Martin, CPM Coordinator.
Further comment available through Catholic Prison Ministry
Coordinator Dave Martin 0408467577,
Catholic Prison Ministry
PO Box 5251 West End 4101