Monday, May 19, 2003

What Ken Said

(Give or take the occasional quibble)

Tonight's Four Corners program, depicting conditions in the Woomera Detention Centre, was truly horrifying. Although some of the detainee behaviour would have been very difficult for even well-resourced, trained and motivated management to control effectively, it's clear that the US-controlled Australian Correctional Management was none of those things. Conditions and senior management attitudes of the sort recounted on Four Corners have no place in any civilised country. I suppose we should make some allowances for the possibility that some of the interviewed former ACM staff may have had personal axes to grind, but the sheer number of staff interviewed and the remarkable unanimity of experiences recounted mean that the program's allegations can't simply be rejected and ignored (although that's probably what Minister Ruddock will try to do).

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