Prisoner Kerryn Mitchell spends her $2.70 weekly allowance on coffee, fruit and phonecards, so she struggles to understand how she will afford to rent a television.
The Corrections Department wants to introduce the rental scheme in an effort to reduce the amount of contraband smuggled into prisons in inmates’ personal TVs – but Mitchell has brought a High Court case claiming the removal of her own set is a breach of her rights.
Ms Mitchell has also sued in the past for not having a proper mattress, after she had destroyed four in a row.
Also sued for not receiving the Dominion Post and not having her mail delivered to another prisoner.
She seems to be a life long criminal. Even back in 1994 she was suing the Police – in fact the first lawsuit under the Privacy Act. She won $500.
Not sure the full extent of Mitchell’s offending, but she has ten convictions for breaching protections orders.
The scheme removes the right of prisoners to bring their own TVs into prison, replacing them with department-issued clear-framed sets that can be rented for $2 per week.
Prisoners who earn less than $5.40 a week are charged only $1, and in special circumstances the sets can be provided free.
I wonder if many of these lawsuits could be curtailed by a law which explicitly says that prisoners do not have a right to a television, newspaper, Internet etc.