It’s not a prison, so there’s no surprise: Conjugal visits at the St. Alexander Maconochie Centre of Respite for the Criminally Challenged
June 13th, 2009 at 06:34pm
I can’t claim to be surprised by this, because quite frankly when the ACT Government builds a prison which isn’t a prison, but rather some nice, warm, fuzzy, friendly, wondrous place of leprechauns and criminal bonding sessions, this is inevitable.
The ACT has become the second jurisdiction in Australia to allow prisoners who behave to receive conjugal visits.
The Alexander Maconochie Centre’s conjugal visits policy, which includes same-sex couples, came into force on March 30 when the jail received its first prisoners.
The Canberra Times reports prisoners and remandees who meet certain criteria can have access to such visits every two months.
During the visits, couples are provided with “domestic surroundings”, condoms and reduced supervision so they can have their intimacy.
But there is a catch – the prisoner has to change the linen after the visit.
The policy excludes partners who are also prisoners at the jail.
It’s ridiculous that a place which is supposed to be an unpleasant punishment for doing something wrong, a place which should be bad enough to ensure that criminals don’t want to reoffend and find themselves “inside” again, a place which, whilst not necessarily awful, should not be a place which inmates can enjoy…it’s ridiculous that a place which should be all of these things I have mentioned, is instead being turned in to a nice friendly place.
Naturally the ACT Government are clinging to the “Victoria are already doing it” line, as if that’s some sort of good reason to do something…”oh, but they’re stealing candy, so therefore we should steal candy too”.
Realistically, prisons should be places of solitary confinement in small rooms with just a bed and a toilet, and three meals per day. Prisoners should not be permitted human contact except for occasional (monthly at most) monitored visits with family and legal counsel (the latter would have to be allowed at any interval if an appeal is either likely or underway). As far as I’m concerned, if prisons can be made as inhospitable and unaccommodating as possible, then people would be far less likely to re-offend, as they wouldn’t want to go back there.