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Referral to Human Rights Commission a good move

Media Release
Penny Wright 15 Jun 2012

Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health and Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright today said she supported the referral of a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission regarding the appalling treatment of Adelaide prisoner Jacqueline Davies during her detention at Adelaide Women's Prison.

 "Recent media reports and evidence provided to a South Australian parliamentary committee about the degrading and inhumane treatment suffered by Ms Davies during her time in prison point to a breach of some fundamental human rights," Senator Wright said.

 "Given these circumstances, I strongly support the referral of Ms Davies' case to the Australian Human Rights Commission, which is the appropriate organisation to further investigate this matter.

 "Unfortunately, people experiencing mental illness are disproportionately represented in our prison system and in many circumstances, prisons have become the de-facto mental health institution of the 21st century.

 "The system has clearly failed Ms Davies and inquiries need to be made into why Ms Davies did not receive adequate access to health care and support during her incarceration. This is an appalling situation - it should not have happened and we need to make sure it does not happen again."

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