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Australia’s First Prison Newspaper Launches This Week

Australia’s first regular prison newspaper is set to be launched this week.

This publication aims to address issues that affect incarcerated individuals, focusing on changes to criminal laws and the justice system, new cases impacting prisoners’ rights, and updates on prison policies and procedures.

In this episode of The Briefing, host Bension Siebert interviews Joseph Friedman, the Managing Director and Publisher of About Time, on the content in the country’s first prison newspaper and why it is so important for incarcerated people nationwide. 

Friedman said the newspaper is inspired by the success of the UK’s Inside Time, which started as a small, black-and-white quarterly and grew into a beloved full-colour monthly publication.

About Time aspires to offer a similar platform for Australian prisoners.

“We will publish the letters of currently and formerly incarcerated people, as well as letters from their friends and families,” he said.

“These letters will be a chance for incarcerated people to tell their stories, share advice, express concerns, fears and hope, and write about anything at all,” he added.

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Friedman said a section will also be dedicated to legal education, providing information about access to legal and social resources.

It will focus on topics such as how to seek and receive effective legal representation, what to believe and what not to believe about rumours going around the prison. 

“We will share your jokes, poetry, songs, music lyrics and artwork. We will publish cartoons, games, riddles and brain teasers,” he said.

He also hopes the newspaper can raise enough money to employ people, preferably people who have been incarcerated before, to take charge of the paper. 

“We believe in giving people a different second chance and in order to ensure that they get that second chance that when they leave prison, they’re in the best possible position not to re-offend.”

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