Skip navigation

Inspector tables damning report on Metropolitan Prison days after death in custody

profile image
Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
17 April 2024

10 February 2024 - The Inspector of Custodial Services’ most recent report has been tabled in parliament just days after a death by suspected hanging has occurred in Parklea correctional facility. The report, undertaken in 2022 at Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre cites unsafe conditions, obvious ligature points, routine strip searches and a culture of negligence at the State’s largest remand centre.


Greens MP and spokesperson for justice Sue Higginson said: “It is deeply concerning that just days after the recent death by suspected hanging at Parklea we receive this report which lays bare the unsafe conditions, including presence of ligature points, in the holding cells at Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre.”

“The evidence is damning. There is no excuse to house people in these conditions. The existence of these ligature points is not only dangerous, it is reckless. These points represent an existential threat for inmates already suffering under the most abject conditions.

“Not only are inmates held in unsafe and dangerous conditions, with the presence of  ligature points in their cells, they are also subject to the most degrading and inhumane conditions with strip searches being carried out routinely. Entering the custodial system is stressful enough without being subject to excessively punitive and degrading treatment.

“It is appalling that the Government is denying basic human rights to people kept in remand. Many inmates in remand have not been found guilty of an allegation, some are there because they could not satisfy the courts or police that they have a stable address for the purpose of bail and they are being treated in the most demeaning ways. Given the escalating number of people being held on remand, fixing this dire situation should be a priority of the Minns Labor Government. Prisons, especially remand centres, should be safe places where people can access the help they need, not institutions which further entrench cycles of punishment, suffering and crime.

“Right now, human rights abuses are being carried out just 19 km from Sydney’s CBD. These institutions are not only failing our inmates, they are failing all of society. 

“The removal of ligature points from cells is fundamental to end preventable deaths in custody. Action must be taken swiftly to ensure no further loss of life occurs in this way.

“The findings in this report come as a warning shot to the Minns Labor Government. Act now to ensure our prisons are places of rehabilitation, not harm. A prison sentence should not mean a death sentence. 

“Our prisons can be places of care and rehabilitation. The current systems are failing us all in what can only be described as a serious waste of human potential and life. We have the resources, we have the knowledge. All we need is the political decision to commit to change this shameful legacy,” Ms Higginson said.

profile image
Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
17 April 2024


Damning interim-report into out-of-home care says nothing we didn’t already know

A damning interim-report from the Advocate for Children and Young People has laid bare - yet again - the extraordinary failures of the out-of-home care system in New South Wales.

Special delivery of Deputy State Coroner’s chilling findings to Minister for Police sound alarm bell for dire state of policing failure

5 April 2024 - This week the Coroners Court of New South Wales released its findings from the inquest into the death of Todd Mckenzie. Mr McKenzie was shot three times by police and died in his Taree home after experiencing a schizophrenic episode. The findings of the coronial report were...

NRL mentors announced in Government's “Project Pathfinder” PR stunt will not help divert kids from crime in regional areas

4 April 2024 - A new pilot program between the NSW Police Force and the National Ruby League (NRL) is being rolled out in Moree to tackle youth crime. The project was announced just weeks after the Minns Government’s controversial youth bail laws were passed in Parliament, making it harder for...

Community resistance to zombie development on hair trigger at Wallum

4 April 2024 - Hundreds of community members have descended at a zombie development site in the Northern Rivers this morning after reports that earth moving equipment was inbound to the site known as Wallum in Brunswick Heads. Despite thousands of people contacting the NSW Minister for Planning and the Federal...