Victorian police told to respect prisoners, make them a nice cup of tea

This may not be as mad as it seems. From my reading, it applies to people held temporarily in police cells rather than to prisons. And many of those held will not subsequently be convicted of anything. So it is essentially protecting the rights of the innocent

POLICE have been told to show more respect to their prisoners: dim the lights at night, don't slam cell doors and serve tea, coffee or milk at least three times a day. New "soft cell" human rights guidelines from Victoria's Office of Police Integrity say cell blocks should be calm and relaxing, with light-shaded wall colours. Meals should be of good nutritional value and quantity, and second helpings should be available "on reasonable request".

The Police Association and a victims' lobby group claimed yesterday the OPI's standards for police cells treated prisoners better than many pensioners. Association secretary Sen-Sgt Greg Davies said the reaction of police would be "fits of hysterical laughter followed by justified outrage". "No doubt we'll have a queue of pensioners and victims of the financial crisis lined up to smash a window at a police station to be housed in such luxurious surroundings," Sen-Sgt Davies said.

Crime Victims Support Association president Noel McNamara said the OPI's custody standards were "absolutely astounding". "I wonder when we're going to see the introduction of mini-bars - that seems to be all that's lacking," he said.

The standards were released this week at the first Australasian Human Rights and Policing Conference. The guidelines also require prisoners to be provided with:

DAILY warm showers in clean conditions that allow privacy.

BOOKS and magazines, writing material and a tamper-proof TV in working order.

REASONABLE access to a telephone and visits from family or friends in clean, private rooms at least twice a week.

ACCESS to a sheltered outdoor exercise yard for at least an hour a day.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said there were 66 prisoners in police cells last night. The force noted the OPI recommendations, and said much had already been done to improve cell conditions.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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