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NSW prisoners denied electoral information.



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senator.ridgeway@aph.gov.au www.democrats.org.au

DEMOCRATS MEDIA 04/1029 THURSDAY 7 OCTOBER 2004 SENATOR ADEN RIDGEWAY AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS SENATOR FOR NSW NSW PRISONERS DENIED ELECTORAL INFORMATION Australian Democrats Senator for NSW, Aden Ridgeway, today called on NSW Commissioner of Corrective Services and the Premier to distribute electoral information denied to prisoners in NSW that was distributed in every other State and Territory last week. "The decision by NSW Commissioner of Corrective Services, Mr Ron Woodham not to distribute The Australian Prisoners’ Election Newspaper from Justice Action makes NSW the only state refusing this information to its prisoners," said Senator Ridgeway. "Only prisoners whose sentences are 3 years or less can vote and we estimate that in NSW that is about two-thirds of the prison population. "This means an estimated 5,800 NSW voters have been denied electoral information relevant to their vote. "We must ensure they remain engaged with our democracy and have access to information on the issues affecting them as does very other voter in NSW. "As NSW also has the highest number of Indigenous prisoners in the country this decision will also impact Indigenous prisoners disproportionately. "I have written to the Premier, Commissioner of Corrective Services and the Justice Minister asking them to agree to distribute the Justice Action publication to NSW prisoners but have had no response. "I call on the NSW Government to immediately reverse the arbitrary and discriminatory decision and to distribute the newspapers to all NSW prisons," concluded Senator Ridgeway. Media Contact - Liz Willis 0417 410 506 www.adenridgeway.com News releases can also be sent by email. Please advise us if you want to join the email distribution list.