Computers In Cells Project Crowdfunding

Overview                                                                      
The campaign for the computers in cells project hasofficially been launched. All Members of Parliament, Judges and Magistrates have been sent letters requesting their support for the computers in cells campaign. 

We need YOUR help to ensure that this campaign gains momentum. Every single donation counts in maintaining human rights in the hardest of places, and in giving people in prisons access to life-changing counselling, legal and educational services through computers in cells.

The proceeds raised will help to employ one full time employee to oversee the campaign, as well as aiding in the implementation of the computers in cells project.  We ask that you help us provide prisoners with much needed access to computers, by donating to our GoFundMe page, as we aim to raise $230'000. 

Online Services for Prisoners

Download the Domestic violence prevention: Online services for prisoners here 

Download the Prison responses to TERRORISM: Online de-radicalisation proposal here 

The Community Justice Coalition has produced two reports that argue online counselling as a successful means to deliver effective rehabilitation programs for prisoners facing incarceration related to domestic abuse and terrorism offences.

The Turnbull and Baird Governments have vowed to address rehabilitation as a top and personal priority. However, existing programs are grossly inadequate in addressing the most serious offenders who are isolated in prison cells. Currently, these prisoners are held in isolation

In response to this, both papers argue online counselling in cells as a safe and successful measure to change prisoner behaviour and reduce recidivism. Benefits that underlie this online approach include: properly using the eighteen hours prisoners spend bored in isolation; external providers generate greater trust and choice in counsellors; stability of service providers through the sentence and after release; some empowerment and self-management; research indicates that online services are actually more effective than face-to-face counselling; and it is relatively cheap.

Media Release 17/02/11

Community Justice Coalition

Media Release February 17, 2011

Justice Forum – Election Policies Exposure

"Political parties have been encouraged to present their policies before the election and will be questioned about them, in response to the Community Justice Coalition questionnaire at the Saturday Forum," said CJC President David Bitel.

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The CJC last November submitted a 33 page Questionnaire to all political parties inviting responses to issues around prison reform. "It is intended to provide the impetus for a serious public debate," asserted CJC Vice President, Hon John Dowd, AO, QC.

The Attorney General Hon. John Hatzistergos, Mr Greg Smith for the Liberals, and David Shoebridge for the Greens will be responding to questions about their policies at the Forum on Saturday 19th February at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts 280 Pitt St at 10am.

"The Questionnaire responses are a refreshing change from the normal law and order auction. New policy overturning bail presumptions are likely to be created following the polls with both the Liberals and Greens in favour of fair changes," said John Dowd.

Download Poster

"For governance and transparency of prisons, the Liberals & Nationals propose the role of Inspector of Corrections, and likewise the Greens assert that "the recent trend of increasing the power and reducing the oversight of the Commissioner must be reversed, whilst the ALP rejects change." With the endemic health problem of Hepatitis C and AIDS, both the Liberals and Greens support a trial needle and syringe program, whilst the ALP doesn't intend any change" said David Bitel.

"The Greens and the Liberals support quality educational resources, both in and out of prisons, with a range of appropriate resources and technology. However, the view of the Government is that there should be no prohibition against in-cell study but the Government fails to implement practical structures to ensure access to education," said David Bitel

Contacts:
David Bitel, on (02) 9286 8700 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chris Puplick on 0403 223 094
John Dowd on 8249 3221
Joan Bielski 9437 6916
or 9283 0123 ext 12

The Community Justice Coalition comprises organisations including the Aboriginal Legal Service, Unions NSW, the International Commission of Jurists, NCOSS, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, NSW Teachers Federation and NSW Council for Civil Liberties.

Media Release 28/02/11

Cross-Examination of Party Policies

"Under cross-examination at the Justice Forum, the major parties revealed their depth of commitment to ending the failed 'law and order' campaigns, and focusing on rehabilitation and deterrence" said CJC President David Bitel.

"The parties' responses show that much needed reforms are likely to occur. For example, all major parties pledged their support for placing computers in cells, in order to lower the recidivism rate. They also confirmed that they will review The Bail Act and re-write it in plain language" said John Dowd, the retired judge and Vice-President of Austcare.

"The CJC has examined the issues that were raised during the open question segment of the Pre-State Election Forum. We have released an analysis of party policy responses to these issues on our website. The issues raised involved community perceptions of the prison system, computers in cells, reforming The Bail Act, homelessness and The Bail Act, implementing a trial needle and syringe program, and mental illness within prisons" said David Bitel.

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