The program, initiated in 2009, was entitled ‘Prisoner Employment Program’. …

Comment on Do you lose more than freedom when you are sent to gaol? by Phil Walcott.

The program, initiated in 2009, was entitled ‘Prisoner Employment Program’. That’s different to the work release program where ‘green shirts’ are on day release to perform community support jobs like grass cutting and assisting with erecting community group infrastructure (like Henley-On-Todd Regatta).
The program initiated the policy roll out of the prisoners contributing to their incarceration costs (food, housing etc.) Yes, the world is watching … so I’m glad the system is embracing these changes.

Phil Walcott Also Commented

Do you lose more than freedom when you are sent to gaol?
I remind you, Erwin and the said Minister, that the “sentenced to a job” initiative was one of the FORMER NT Labor government.
I was working with pre then post custodial prisoners who were working on a weekday daily basis, paying “board lodgings” from their earnings and the levy from 30th July 2009.
This was more than three years PRIOR to the 2012 NT Legislative Election. Credit where credit is due!
Whilst the incumbent Minister is to be congratulated for his ongoing support and expansion of this program, it was NOT the CLP that introduced it.
If you need clarification, check with Delia Lawrie and Gerry McCarthy. To constantly report that this program is an initiative of the CLP is misleading and incorrect.

JOHN ELFERINK responds: What [Labor] had was a simple work release program that saw a hand full of prisoners engage in work release. Work release programs have been around for decades. The Labor Party on the basis of this have now been peddling the falsehood this this was all their idea in the first place.
The fact is if this was anything more than that they would have had the whole system up and running years ago. In short they didn’t. If they were onto it in 2009 then what did they do for three years?
The idea of making work the central component (not just a work program) of the corrections system is down to the new government. The world is watching what we’re doing and I’m proud of the enormous strides we have made in a single year.

Recent Comments by Phil Walcott

CLP would build gallery at Desert Park, not Anzac precinct
The national Aboriginal art gallery needs to be built at Desert Knowledge Precinct in line with the request of traditional owners. The national Aboriginal cultural centre can also be built. Desert People’s Centre is already there. Plenty of parking, great cafe already on-site.

Way forward for nation-building projects – south of the Gap
Such a well-argued position. It really is time that NT Government and Alice Springs Town Council came together to fully support this notion and get the job done!
Already millions of dollars have been wasted in the tit-for-tat spats over the past three years.
A valuable infrastructure asset (Anzac Hill High) school demolished for no net gain. Money wasted on the consultative process that was not heeded anyway. Divisive politics and over-inflated egos have ruled this project since its inception and design.
The Desert Knowledge Precinct is a wonderful location and, it would appear, culturally sensitive and appropriate.
I wonder what will happen to this project after 22nd August?

Slash and burn at CDU: Alice loses out
Oh, Mr Hart … what a mess!!!

Alice after COVID: Recovery needs to be a team effort
Very comprehensive, considered and well reasoned responses from Neil. He has given so much back to this community over his lifetime and has excellent perspectives on how this town operates.
Neil understands that we need a whole-of-community buy-in to support each other and help us thrive in a new global environment.
If we can leave behind the need for greed mentality, that would be a good thing for humanity. If this health threat has reminded us of one thing, it’s the power of good will and friendships.
I was once told that I “would never have a lot of money … but I would always have enough”.
That was over 40 years ago and it has certainly proven to be the case. There were times when I had enough for a Vegemite sandwich and others when I had enough to fly around the planet in Business Class (with a First Class up-grade from Singapore to London).
Enough is relative. Many of us have enough … we just forget to remember or acknowledge it.
I certainly hope many of us do take this opportunity to reflect and reset.
The current situation has allowed us to take a look at where we’ve come from and where we’d like to head into the future.
Much of what was can be left there … in the past.
We now have opportunity to evolve some real 2020 vision (a convenient year to do so) about where we would like this town, region and her people to be by 2050 and beyond.
Thanks again for your considered views, Neil.
Your continuing community contributions are very welcome and acknowledged.

Ask Pine Gap for help to stop breach of COVID rules: Lambley
Great idea, Robyn.
It makes good sense to utilise whatever technology we have at our disposal to help counter this World War ‘C’ influence around our jurisdiction.
Whilst the NT Government, NGOs and safe-minded people have been able to (so far) minimise the contagion spread, communal transmission would be devastating to our most vulnerable Territorians (aged, infirm, homeless, those with chronic health conditions, living in economic and social poverty) if it were to occur.
We must, in a whole-of-community response, do everything within our collective power to halt the spread and mitigate the collateral damage as best we can.
Thanks for the idea, Robyn.

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