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Monday, August 02, 2010

Oh come on, it's just a prisoners death in Prison

Plea for someone to answer for death of inmate
A Christchurch woman hopes someone will be held accountable for her inmate brother's death, despite "red alerts" about his risk of self-harm. Daniel Barry died in Christchurch Hospital after just one day in Christchurch Men's Prison, where he was placed in a segregated unit rather than the "at-risk" unit, despite a history of drug abuse, depression and suicide attempts. His sister, Tracy Barry, yesterday attended the start of the inquest into his death. She told The Press his death had devastated the family, and there were plenty of "red alerts" raised about her brother's self-harm risk. The 21-year-old died in Christchurch Hospital on November 29, 2008, after being found unconscious in the prison yard the previous day. Barry had been remanded in custody on charges including burglary and theft. The inquest was told Barry had made a suicide attempt four weeks before going to jail, partly because of his fear of imprisonment.

I think someone needs to explain to this sister that her Brother was in fact a 'prisoner' and this being NZ - we allow the anger created by a ratings driven crime myopic media to get twisted into hateful vengeance by politicians happy to manipulate that anger and as such we not only do not care about the outcomes for these prisoners being part of National's Private Prison Nation, we certainly don't care about the conditions they are kept in.

Not content to create a monster department to sell off to private corporations to make profit from imprisonment, the prisons aren't even looking after the health of the prisoners which in turn impacts on the repeat offending.

Think I'm wrong? Check out the hateful vengeance posted by many of the anonymous right wing trolls on this site in relation to my blog celebrating a Mother who didn't allow the hate to overcome her and was pleased a boyracer who had killed her child had avoided jail. The self righteous hatred shown by those anonymous right wing trolls for those showing any compassion is a miracle to read and gives an insight into the bankrupt thought process used on the right to scream for longer and longer and longer and longer sentences.

We must not let the hateful and frightened dictate social policy. The sadness here is a man in prison for burglary and theft is dead while in the care of the Government, listening to the sister of the dead man beg for NZ to care while so many don't is sobering.

MEANWHILE: Let's hope Crusher Collins doesn't get any ideas from the Russians...

Russia to introduce 'draconian' Minority Report-style law
Legislation will give security services powers to arrest people for crimes they have yet to commit Russian citizens can be issued official warnings about crimes that they have not yet committed under powers granted to the security services today. President Dmitry Medvedev signed off on a new law giving the FSB, the successor agency to the KGB, the right to caution people suspected of preparing acts of extremism, or to jail them for obstructing the agency's work. The powers appear similar to those enjoyed by Precrime, the police unit in the 2002 Hollywood film Minority Report. "This is a draconian law reminiscent of our repressive past," said Boris Nemtsov, a leader of the Solidarity opposition movement.


At 2/8/10 9:53 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have evidence that suicide/death is any higher/lower amongst prison inmates than in a similar population on the outside.

Suicide is a civil liberty perhaps, you are free to kill yourself (either in one act or slowly with bad life choices) should others have similar rights.

Suicides/death of inmates is front page news, that gives the impression its more common that it is.

For example, if a prison officer committed suicide the rules of the coroner’s court would prevent any reporting of that event, do you agree with that censorship.

Have you ever tried ‘reporting’ a suicide against corners rules, I would be interested to know how you got on, or aren’t you interested in the health (or lack of it) amongst non-criminals.

I often wonder about the health of victims of crime, are their rates of early death and suicide higher or lower than those of prison inmates.

Death of a criminal is news, death for most of us isn't.

Last time I saw statistics the highest rates of suicide was dentists - not very sexy so not likely to interest you.

At 2/8/10 3:28 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

I have no idea of the point you are attempting to meander to Anon, mine was that hate has been legislated as social policy and as such this sister wasn't going to get any resolution from the loss of her brother swallowed up into the prison nation National have built.

You seem to be dredging the barrel of apologist positions to defend the prison empire. Good for you, someone has to defend our prison blood lust.

At 2/8/10 8:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suicide/death/illness are a realities in all of our lives, I just don't see why suicide/death/illness amongst one group of society is more newsworthy, or deserves more concern, than another.

I also don't see why some deaths/suicides are reported without any legal restriction, while strict censorship applies to others.

There is a lot more censorship than many people realise, for example the full details of many crimes are permanently suppressed, often, I believe, because they are considered to gruesome and disturbing for the public to see or hear. Bearing in mind we read a lot of seriously bad stuff (some details of the murder of Sophie Elliot for example) you have to wonder about the appalling acts that people don’t get to know about.

As you know the photographs (and some details) of Ms Elliot’s injuries are suppressed, do you also know the Mr Weatherston is legally entitled to have copies of all the photos.

Some information is available, but is not reported, because no-one is interested, other information is censored.

I was questioning double standards and selective concern and reporting. I think the public have a right to full and uncensored information about victims and criminals. However, I can accept there are problems in that, clearly there are people who would get kicks from reading about, and seeing images, of the suffering/torture/death of others.

At 3/8/10 12:23 pm, Anonymous Simon said...

"Suicide/death/illness are a realities in all of our lives, I just don't see why suicide/death/illness amongst one group of society is more newsworthy, or deserves more concern, than another."
Perhaps more news worthy because they were in the care of the State who knew they were in a precarious mental condition.

At 3/8/10 7:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'...Perhaps more news worthy because they were in the care of the State who knew they were in a precarious mental condition....'

Not in itself unusual, the evidence (if you can find it) is that many (I think most) people who suicide have sought professional help in the 10 days prior to their death.

Some who die had been admitted to hospital and then discharged, others have asked for admission into care and been denied, even though they made it clear they were unwell, when they die mostly there is little or no reporting.

Sadly ‘help’ is largely a myth. Access to 'help' largely depends on cash of course, if you are able to pay $250 an hour you will find a consultant psychiatrist in private practice to see you quickly and often (whether that will help you is questionable) you can also buy your way into a nice country retreat, however, no cash - you are pretty much on your own.

Society is full of people in ‘a precarious metal condition’......

At 4/8/10 12:17 pm, Anonymous Simon said...

Prisons though since the convenient and economical removal of asylums for all but the hockey mask wearers is where a large proportion of our mentally unstable end up.
It is simply a cop out to say that it's too expensive to treat them and false economy considering the cost of keeping them in prison and the cost of their actions on release.

At 4/8/10 7:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cures/treatments/help/rehab - sadly its a myth ....not just for criminals but for everyone.

By and large people who 'get better' do so from natural remission, others remain ill at varying degrees, or die.

NZ probably needs secure psyche institutions/prisons like Broadmore so that the criminally insane can be kept secure after their warrant runs out.

The modern trend of closing psyche wards, hospitals etc. has it really worked. The policy was praised at the time as being progressive but I am not so sure.

There are a lot of places where levels of stress, mental illnes, ptsd etc. are higher than the general population, prison is one (staff and inmates) hospitals, defence forces, police, school, drivers, banks, ambulance staff .... in fact many workers today are bullied and pushed into mental illness.

Other areas of life can be even worse, single isolated parents, people caring for children with illness and disability etc. A major, and growing, ignored group are people living alone without friends or family, lonliness and social isolation are big killers, if you want to help someone have a look around your own environment and see if you can include someone in your life and circle - have a BBQ and invite people you usually don't think of.

There are the people who have ruined their health with toxic substances. I have a crazy neighbour I suspect (but don’t know) that its alcohol induced brain damage, is there any effective help for her, I doubt it as for treatment/cure not a chance some damage is permanent ...

It’s a hard life for many, I rather doubt if the evidence would put inmates in the top 5 ....

Its reality, no simple or quick fixes. I guess the ‘moral’ of the story is take care of your own health, sadly no-on else will.

All people can do is make an effort to include people more, if you want to 'befriend' and inmate go for it but I would look around your workplace and neighborhood first, the will be many people who are forgotten is it so hard to invite them around and be a friend .... my experince is that it is, people purport to 'care' but really do nothing genuine ....


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