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Media Release – NT Justice Coalition calls for bus service to NT prisons

Making Justice Work (MJW) is a coalition of community organisations with a common interest in effective responses to crime in the Northern Territory.

The coalition calls on the NT Government to reinstate a bus service to Darwin and Alice Springs prison.

MJW Top End spokesperson Sandra Cannon said,

“A bus service was a condition of the prison’s construction, but since the centre became operational both the Department of Transport and Department of Corrections have refused to accept responsibility for this.”[1]

“Making Justice Work is keen to ensure that the conditions regarding a prison bus service are followed through”.

“Research shows that prisoners who maintain regular contact with family and friends throughout their time in gaol are less likely to reoffend or breach parole conditions upon release”, Ms Cannon said.

“Visitation is also vital in reducing prisoner isolation and the likelihood of suicide or self-harm”.

“There is a range of models for transport options, and we call on the NT Government to get stakeholders in Darwin and Alice Springs in a room and sort something out quickly”, Ms Cannon explained.

MJW Central Australian spokesperson, John Adams said,

“People wanting to get to Alice Springs prison have to take a bus run by volunteers. This important service should not rely on the good will and availability of volunteers”

“In our justice system being detained is a form of punishment, it is not being kept from family and friends”

 

“It is also really important that children and families are able to maintain connection to relatives in prison, but the lack of affordable transport options makes this extremely difficult”.

END OF RELEASE

MEDIA COMMENT

Sandra Cannon 0488 172 963
John Adams 0477 657 338

 [1] Shae McDonald, ‘Two bus stops built at new Darwin prison not serviced by bus’ <http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/two-stops-built-at-new-darwin-prison-at-holtze-not-serviced-by-bus/news-story/d9d44fd10c739aca73e8edbf0b3212ef>

MEDIA RELEASE