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They’re a happy lot in the local lock-up

Thursday, 31st October, 2013

By Darrin Manuel

Inmates at the BH jail may be guilty of many things, but it seems whinging isn’t one of them.

Information released by the NSW Ombudsman’s Annual Report for 2012-2013 show that inmates at Broken Hill and Ivanhoe jails complained far less than those in other jails around the State.

Just one formal complaint was reported from the BH Correctional Centre during this time, along with 10 informal complaints. One informal complain was also reported at Ivanhoe Correctional Centre.

This compares favourably to other centres such as Kariong Juvenile Detention, which recorded at least one complaint for every person held there.

A total of 660 formal complaints were made about adult jails and services around the State, with most focused on a lack of medical services, the prison’s daily routine, or complaints about restrictions on products prisoners were able to buy.

The report says inmates often contact the Ombudsman office about everyday issues because they “do not have many of the things the rest of the community takes for granted”.

“They have limited opportunity to get everyday problems resolved because they cannot access the right information or the right people. This is why a lot of inmates come to us.”

Meanwhile, 65 formal complaints were received about juvenile centres.

Kariong lodged the most serious unconfirmed complaint, which alleged inmates were incorrectly told to lift their genitals and squat during strip searches. -BDT/AAP

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