Beyond Punishment Seminar Series: Technologies in Prisons: Digital Interfaces for Prisoners

18 October 2017


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Technologies in Prisons: Digital Interfaces for Prisoners

This seminar brings together a panel of experts to discuss the implications of internet connectivity for prisoners. Digital communication devices are planned for NSW's new 'rapid build prisons' for the use of sentenced inmates. The Offender Access Digital Television screens, proposed for each prisoner's cubicle, will function as a portal to the outside world enabling limited access to education and support services, legal schedules as well as weekly buy-ups and accounts. The installation of technologies will address the digital inequality of prisons compared with the free-world where digital access is assumed and pervasive. But there are potential risks in granting prisoners a level of digital connectivity. How will prisons guard against inappropriate or illegal use? What will the service cost prisoners and will it be used as a privilege? Could the technologies open up prisoners' families and lawyers to surveillance? Underpinning this discussion will be a consideration of the purposes of imprisonment: a chance for rehabilitation, or a place of strict segregation from the world outside?

This seminar will examine legal, moral and social justice perspectives of providing digital communication access for prisoners.

Please join us for this Corrective Services NSW Beyond Punishment seminar.


About the speakers

Kat Armstrong, President, Public Officer, Co-Founder, Women's Justice Network
Kat Armstrong is President, Public Officer, and Co-Founder of the Women's Justice Network (formerly Women in Prison Advocacy Network). She is an ex-prisoner, having served 10 years, and now committed to advancing the interests of women and girls who are at risk or affected by the criminal justice system. Kat won the NSW Law & Justice Volunteer Award in 2011 and has recently been admitted to the NSW Supreme Court as a practicing lawyer.

Alison Churchill, CEO, Community Restorative Centre
Alison qualified in Social Work at Plymouth University UK. Since then she has worked in the field of child protection, women services, probation and parole, sexual assault counselling and the treatment of child sex offenders. For the past 20 years Alison has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Community Restorative Centre. She is also a Member of Sydney Institute of Criminology Advisory Committee, Member of the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network Board of Management, and Recipient of the 2013 Justice Medal, sponsored by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW.

The Hon. Elizabeth Evatt AC, Signatory, Community Justice Coalition
Elizabeth Evatt AC was the first Chief Judge of the Family Court of Australia, and the first female judge of an Australian federal court. In 1974 she chaired the Royal Commission on Human Relationships, which documented for the first time the then existing systemic discrimination against women in Australian social, economic and public life and which led in time to anti discrimination legislation and social, financial and legal change in favour of Australian women nation wide. In 1984 she was appointed as a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. She later chaired the Committee, from 1989 to 1991. She was Chancellor of the University of Newcastle from 1988 to 1994. She was the first Australian to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, serving from 1993 to 2000. She was made a Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission from 1995-8. In 1998 she was appointed as a judge of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal. She was elected as a Commissioner of the International Committee of Jurists in 2003. She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1982, and was granted Australia's highest civil honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia in 1995.

Dr Rohan Lulham, Research Fellow, Designing Out Crime Research Centre, UTS
Dr Rohan Lulham is a research fellow at the Designing Out Crime Research Centre, UTS. His research covers the areas of design, environmental psychology and criminology, with particular research interests in affect and design, correctional design practice, and social innovation. Current projects include design and environmental standards for Audio Visual Link justice suites in juvenile and adult custody settings.

Chair: Dr Carolyn McKay, Deputy Director, Sydney Institute of Criminology
Dr Carolyn McKay is Deputy Director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology and lecturer. Her doctoral research examined the impacts of audio visual link technologies on prisoners' court appearance and access to justice.


CPD Points: 2


This event is sponsored by Corrective Services NSW and hosted by the Sydney Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney Law School.


Time: 6-8pm (registration and refreshments from 5.30pm)

Location: Common Room, Level 4, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, Camperdown, University of Sydney

Cost: Complimentary, however registration is essential.

Contact: Professional Learning & Community Engagement

Phone: 02 9351 0429

Email: 212301404e0c10191745362349551f31211f320b417b5847