Prisoners receive snail mail dated back to December

People being held in Queensland correctional centres while accused of crimes and who had not received legal documents in the snail mail in recent months have seen a change in circumstances.

The Morning Bulletin reported early Friday morning there were some people being held on remand in Queensland correctional centres who were not legally represented and had not received their Briefs of Evidence, QP9s and other legal documents sent in the Australia Post system in recent months.

The information was provided to The Bulletin from Rockhampton lawyers who raised their concerns alleged criminals were not being treated just and humanely due to being held in watch houses for weeks while waiting to be transported to a correctional centre while being held on remand for serious charges, along with some not receiving Briefs of Evidence and QP9s from police prosecutors and other legal documents from lawyers.

Read more here: Alleged criminals being kept in watch houses for weeks

The Bulletin received further information mid Friday afternoon the Rockhampton lawyer had received many calls that day from impacted prisoners saying they had been handed snail mail containing legal documents, with mail dates dating back to February and December, on May 7.

“I am receiving calls from clients all over that they are receiving letters from as far back as December and February,” the lawyer said.

The lawyer had tested the initial information, sending mail to two of his clients in separate correctional centres – Woodford and Capricornia – via registered post.

One is being held on remand for money laundering and the other for attempted murder.

The mail receipt from Australia Post showed the mail to Woodford arrived, but when the lawyer checked with the client later that day, the client had not received any mail relating to their matters before the courts.

People held in Queensland correctional centres and watch houses have rights to be treated humanely, communicate privately with their legal representatives and have adequate time and facilities to prepare their defence under Queensland’s Human Rights Act.

The second lawyer said prisoners not receiving their Briefs of Evidence, QP9s or other legal mail were unable to give their lawyers instructions on how to proceed with their matters as they did not know what the allegations were against them.