It is important to recognize that some of the factors that affect inmates` access to justice may not be easy to change or will change slowly. These include the top priority given to prison security, limited prison and legal resources, the complex history of inmates and the limited cognitive abilities of many inmates, especially at the beginning of prison. Third, high-profile processes appear to delay help, with many respondents describing seemingly cumbersome processes to accomplish relatively simple tasks. As a result, in some cases, inmates refrained from seeking help because they felt it would take too long. In other cases, inmates missed an opportunity to raise a legal issue or to prepare effectively for a hearing. As the unexpected increased with each pair of hands passing through a material, so did the possibility of collapse or delay. Detainees have the opportunity to hire and consult with a lawyer while incarcerated. The Legal Service for Prisoners (PLS) of Legal Aid, for example, regularly provides legal advice to prisons in New South Wales. Legal numbers are included on prisoners` phone cards and the LawAccess number is automatically programmed.
Legal tours are provided with designated areas and times for those tours. Despite these facilities, respondents to this study reported problems for inmates in finding and interacting with lawyers. Among the problems encountered: Visits from family and friends are encouraged and can have a positive impact during the period of incarceration as well as after release. Research has shown that those who receive regular visits adapt much better when released from prison when privilege is used to maintain a positive relationship. A second issue was the gap between what detainees needed to access justice and the options available. For example, court proceedings are often based on written information, yet many prisoners have little education and literacy difficulties. In addition, resources in the systemic environment often lagged behind demand – telephones, public law practitioners and social workers, for example, were in high demand, but apparently often scarce. There was also evidence of discrepancies between the routine and realities of prison life and how services were provided to prisoners. For example, it was preferable to reach lawyers by phone or in person at times when detainees were more likely to be locked in cells that could not access the telephone. Similarly, restrictions on prisoners` freedom of movement within the prison could prevent them from accessing the prison library when it is open.
The following information presents the most important visiting hours for prisons in New South Wales. Due to resource constraints, legal visits to most prisons are possible by appointment. Legal representatives who intend to visit the prison in accordance with the booking information should contact the prison if necessary to communicate this or to make an appointment. 48 hours` notice is required for lawful visits to the FRCC. Without the necessary skills or support to resolve legal issues, inmates tended to adopt inappropriate interaction styles (e.g., passive or aggressive behaviour). Dangerously, the inability of some prisoners to understand legal information, advice or results was sometimes overlooked by those offering help because previous court experiences or time spent at home were seen as a substitute for actual knowledge. Lack of capacity can also be masked by bravery or disinterest because people are too embarrassed, intimidated or overwhelmed to admit that they have not understood information or advice, or that they cannot read. This website and the following links are intended to provide the legal profession with information to facilitate legal visits to their imprisoned clients. A final question concerns how detainees` ability to deal with certain legal issues varies at different stages of their detention. At the time of their initial incarceration, inmates are generally too unstable, stressed and focused on their criminal matters to focus on their long-term civil law problems. When incarcerated in sentenced prisons, inmates appear to have a more personal capacity to address these issues, but face more systemic barriers (e.g., placement in a rural prison and less access to social assistance or regular legal aid). If civilian assistance was provided at a time of detention when detainees were best placed to benefit from it, the effectiveness of such assistance may be increased.
Your lawyer or other lawyer may visit you at the RMRC, subject to certain regulations and visiting hours. NOTE: Inmates designated as Special Accommodation Unit (HUS) are limited to one visit per week, excluding approved statutory visits. Contact the institution to find out the specific visit schedule for this person. First, according to our interviewees, the extent of resources within the DCS and public law services such as the New South Wales Legal Aid Commission (Legal Aid) and the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) appeared to threaten the ability of these agencies to facilitate prisoners` access to justice. For example, the number of inmates who needed time with PLS Legal Aid meant that each inmate had only five or 10 minutes to discuss their case. Many felt that this was not enough to express their situation and absorb the advice offered. Except in cases of emergency and in the event of termination, suspension or revocation of visitor privileges, the number, duration and frequency of visits by each visitor will be limited to the extent necessary to accommodate all visitors arriving during scheduled visiting hours. Interviews with detainees, former detainees and their supporters showed that there are technical means for prisoners to obtain legal information, advice and representation, and to participate in judicial proceedings.
Visits to legal aid services, prison libraries, prison staff and independent organizations, as well as telephone access, go a long way towards facilitating prisoners` access to legal aid. However, the interaction of the prison environment, the personal abilities of inmates, the way inmates get help, and the prison culture mean that, in many cases, these opportunities are missed or compromised in some way. Lawyers and others who enter for official tours can enjoy: No tours on Tuesdays (except for business visits), Christmas Day or Good Friday. The visitor centre is closed on these days. There also appear to be conflicts between the detention system and legal systems and processes, making it difficult for inmates to access legal aid. Example: The sample of stakeholders for this project was drawn by DCS staff and other service providers. Nineteen DCS employees were interviewed, including prison social staff, a financial advisor, probation officers, library staff, education officers, political staff, “transit workers” and department heads who work both in correctional facilities and at headquarters. In addition, interviews were conducted with 23 legal and non-legal service providers who support recently released inmates.
In addition to improving the security of our correctional facilities, the DOCCS wants to ensure that visits are family-friendly and that the visitation experience is positive for the inmate population and their families. Detainees often said their lives were out of control before being detained. Contributing factors included mental illness, alcohol and substance abuse, difficult and unhealthy family relationships, criminal activity, previous detention and poverty. As a result, inmates often ended up in prison with multiple criminal and civil law issues, were not necessarily aware of the extent of these problems, had limited documentation, and often had damaged relationships with formal and informal sources of support. Loss of power was a third issue that sought to overcome the obstacles inmates faced in trying to prevent or resolve legal problems. The pervasive need for inmates to rely on others to perform tasks on their behalf (p. e.g., calling government agencies, transmitting messages and arranging legal visits) meant that detainees often had no control over receiving information and advice on their own behalf. All legal and professional visits must be booked in advance. Opportunities to contact a lawyer by telephone or during a legal visit, to reach the library for legal information, and to receive legal support from social workers may be hampered by conflicting priorities within the detention system, such as a focus on security and effective management of detainees.