Bleijie\’s church criticises hardline bikies jail policies
Owen Jacques 6th Dec 2013 7:35 AM
ON ISOLATION: Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie.
ATTORNEY-General Jarrod Bleijie\’s own church has criticised his hard-line policy against bikie members in prison which could keep them in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day.
The new policy was introduced installed in mid-October, as the Queensland Government intensified its assault on illegal bikie gangs
It included banning televisions from cells, scrutiny of phone calls and mail and increased drug testing.
Uniting Church Queensland moderator Reverend Kaye Ronalds said the anti-bikie laws were put in place with little consultation.
“A number of congregations have raised concerns that (the laws) were developed that way and were now in place,” she said.
“What is the evidence the harsher bikie laws would help rehabilitate a person and not just make them more angry at society?”
The Uniting Church has teams of prison chaplains who work to support inmates and their families.
In his maiden speech to Queensland Parliament in 2009, Mr Bleijie said “I am not bashful about declaring that I am a practising Christian”.
“I am an elder of the Kawana Waters Uniting Church, and worship and church activities play a major part of our life.
“I am sure it will sustain me in my new role.”
Catholic Prison Ministry co-ordinator Dave Martin said he was worried ex-bikies were being caught up in the new regime.
“I know of a few isolated cases where (prisoners) were involved with bikies 20 years ago and are caught under this regime,” Mr Martin said.
“They’re really working towards a release and getting parole but they are dragged back (into solitary confinement) and not understanding why.
“We know of one fellow who found out he was going back (into solitary) and attempted suicide.”
Mr Martin said attempts to “break” prisoners would only lead to them becoming “angry, violent and disaffected”.
The Attorney-General declined to respond to comments from the Uniting Church or allegations of suicide attempts.
Mr Bleijie said it was not appropriate to discuss security or operational matters.
He said isolation was needed to break bikie jail networks.top them attempting to intimidate prison staff.
It also refused to comment on allegations of a suicide attempt.
QCS confirmed there were 43 bikie members incarcerated in Queensland.