Long Bay education slashed

July 26, 2008

The NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) and the Greens have condemned a move by the state government to cut access to education programs at the Long Bay Forensic Hospital when it relocates.

The forensic hospital, which accommodates prisoners with serious mental illness, has had its education access programs cut in half.

John Kaye, NSW Greens MP, described the move as a callous attack on human rights, saying "Education is a core component of rehabilitation. The loss of access to programs will leave inmates with a greatly reduced chance of recovering."

Apart from being a breach of Australia's human rights obligations, Kaye said cutting the education program will drive up long-term costs, as "the number of inmates who are able to leave the forensic hospital will be reduced as recovery from mental illness is impeded".

The NSWTF has written a letter to NSW Premier Morris Iemma, calling on him to ensure all education staff and facilities are relocated to the new hospital, and programs able to continue.

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