Shadow Police Minister Rob Lucas has today condemned the Rann Government for the appalling treatment of an intellectually disabled man at Yatala Prison.
The Liberal Party has received a copy of a letter of complaint from a family member to the Police Complaints Authority, which also raises disturbing allegations against some Correctional Services staff.
“‘Jack,’ who has an intellectual disability from a car accident, was charged with rape in July this year. Having spent three months on remand at Yatala, the complainant admitted to fabricating the allegations and the charges were withdrawn,” Mr. Lucas said.
“‘Jack’s’ brother drove to Adelaide from the country and arrived at Yatala at 9:00 am on Friday, October 20 to collect ‘Jack,’ but was told he could not be released before midnight.
“However, at 5:30 pm, ‘Jack’s’ brother was contacted by prison authorities and told that ‘Jack’ had already been released.”
“On my arrival I found ‘Jack’ huddled behind a shed down a side road adjacent to the front gate of the prison. He was sheltering from the cold and only wearing paper like prison overalls. This garment was not made of cloth or material. It was constructed of a paper like substance which was almost transparent. ‘Jack’ had no underpants or any other garment. ‘Jack’ was clearly embarrassed at being virtually naked. His treatment was humiliating and cruel.
I approached the gatekeeper at the prison to find out why he had been sent out of the institution in such a disgusting way. I asked him why his clothes and private property had not been returned to him. He apologised stating that everyone had gone home and he could not get into the store room to collect Jack‘s property! This was despite the fact that the prison authorities had been aware of his ordered release throughout the day – at least eight and a half hours.”
Mr. Lucas said the Minister for Correctional Services, Carmel Zollo, must accept ultimate responsibility for this disgraceful episode.
“Minister Zollo must now order an urgent inquiry into the treatment of ‘Jack’ and give public assurances that this sort of treatment will never happen again.
“Minister Zollo should also, on behalf of the Rann Government, offer an apology to ‘Jack’ and his family.”