Earlier this year, Brian Newman and Human Rights Watch Disability Rights Researcher, Kriti Sharma met in Shine Lawyers offices in Brisbane to discuss the challenges confronting prisoners with disabilities in Australian prisons.
Ms Sharma and Brian Newman had a lengthy discussion about the concerns highlighted in the report published by Human Rights Watch following the extensive research undertaken by Ms Sharma entitled “I Needed Help, Instead I Was Punished”.
The report, albeit a moderately comprehensive one, did not consider the full range of issues of concern for Prison Officers, staff and their safety.
"... let's work together on these issues"
Whilst we understand the agenda was to raise awareness of the issues confronting prisoners with disabilities and those who are genuinely seeking help, Brian Newman said "I think we've missed a real and significant opportunity here, and I hope that in the not too distant future, myself, the Australian Prison Officers Association (APOA) and the good people at Human Rights Watch can work together to make significant advances on this matter and others of a similar vein".