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Phone Monitoring Legislation On The Way

Corrections Minister Clem Simich introduced legislation in Parliament today allowing the monitoring of prison inmates' phone calls, which aims to catch those seeking to commit crimes and deter those thinking of doing so.

"The Penal Institutions Amendment Bill (No.2) is urgently needed so we can catch prison inmates who misuse their telephone privileges to organise crimes, harass victims or plan escapes," Mr Simich said. "There is no good reason why this Bill cannot be passed this year."

Monitoring inmates' phone calls will not only make it easier to detect crime, but will give added protection to victims, as well as preventing crime from occurring.

"This Bill does not compromise inmates' rights. Inmates will retain the ability to make some types of calls in private, such as to defence counsel and the Prison Inspectorate. Signs will be erected to remind inmates that calls are being recorded, in addition to a message that will be played at the start of every call."

"This Bill will not only catch people who are planning to commit crime, but will deter those who may be considering it," Mr Simich said. "I am confident that this Bill will actually prevent crime before it occurs."

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