It is with much sadness the Australasian Correctional Education Association (ACEA)...
COVID-19 presents Australian society with one of its more formidable challenges in a very long period of time. Whether external or internal to the correctional system, governments currently consider educators a vital component of their efforts to retain order and provide large numbers of people with hope for the future. Their belief in correctional educators is well placed, as they are experienced in providing the tuition, support and encouragement that those tasks require. We hope that once this pandemic is over that the governments who deemed correctional educators as essential service providers but did not avail themselves of the opportunity to reduce the numbers of low security and remand inmates, do remember that those educators continued working under conditions that were acknowledged as some of the more precarious outside of health and medicine. The ACEA Executive Committee hopes that all ACEA members and their families are well at this time.
MARCH-APRIL COVID-19 in AUSTRALIAN PRISONS
On March 20th a letter signed by 370 Australian academics, lawyers and prison advocates was released that calls on Australian governments to follow the lead of jurisdictions such as Ireland, the United States and the United Kingdom, where authorities have either released prisoners or are considering it as a possibility in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This type of open letter with that kind of support for an issue related to people who have come in contact with the justice system for criminal acts and those already incarcerated in Australian prisons is rarely achieved and so, we congratulate Dr. Lorena Bartels from ANU who co-authored the letter. Dr. Bartels has attended ACEA conferences in the past and is a strong supporter of education in prisons. I encourage you to read the article and peruse the names of the people who signed the letter. These are the people who ACEA needs to consider partnering with going forward.
The ABC news have a number of articles on COVID-19 and Australian prisons which may be of interest to ACEA members as they report on most states and both territories. The articles can be found on the following link:
The ABC also has ABC Radio segments on the COVID-19 subject with a number of different guests from the Lawyers Alliance, former president of the NSW Bar Association, former Victoria Attorney General and others.
Australia Commonwealth Government Health Department
The Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies (APPRISE)
Johns Hopkins University
The ACEA YouTube site
The ACEA site now has interviews with a good mix of different correctional experts; Clint Carpenter from Texas in the USA (correctional education administration and innovation), Elizabeth Drake from Washington State Institute of Public Policy (senior research) and Dr. Neil Morgan, Chief Inspector of the Office of Custodial Services of WA. There is also a presentation from the 2017 ACEA conference by Deputy Director General Jan-Erik Sandlie from the Norwegian Correctional Services (correctional and justice administration).