First meeting with the office of the Minister for Corrections

Earlier this week, along with the Justice Action team, I attended a meeting at the office for the Minister for Counter-Terrorism and Corrections. While we were initially given an appointment with minister Anthony Roberts directly, this unfortunately fell through, but we were still able to speak with his advisors. We raised five topics for the minister to respond to:

  1. The OPCAT treaty and its relation to prisons
  2. The current lack of computers in cells in NSW, and the limitations this causes for education
  3. The current lack of education in prison in general
  4. The inquest into the death of David Dungay in custody
  5. The iExpress service for inmates

Issue 3, the current status of education in prisons, was my talking point. I drew from personal experience but also raised the drop in education as per the government’s own statistics, and the cost-effectiveness of prison education programs as seen overseas. We all felt very positive about how the meeting went and are awaiting the ministers response.

New article up on 10 daily

Considering I’ve been interviewed about having prison pen-pals three times now, I thought it was high time I wrote an article about the subject myself.

10 daily published my third article on their website today. You can read it here.

Uni break ends this weekend, and I’m still being kept busy with portraits and with the process of having my novel published, so this might be the last one for a while though. Hope you like it.

Damien Linnane featured on Justice Action

My good friends over at Justice Action have made a profile for me on their website. Justice Action is a human rights group, focusing on the rights of prisoners and involuntary mental health patients. I first heard of Justice Action while I was in prison towards the end of my sentence. They had put together a newsletter informing prisoners of their right to vote; inmates with sentences of under three years can still vote in elections. I subsequently began correspondence with them and maintain a relationship with the group to this day.

Justice Action contacted me a couple weeks ago, asking if I wanted to have a featured profile on the ‘Prisoner’s Voices’ section of their website. You can check out the profile here. There’s nothing there that readers of my website won’t already know, but I think it’s worth a visit anyway just to see how good it looks.

Second article published by 10 daily

Well I did promise there would be more. I wrote my next opinion piece for 10 daily as soon as uni break hit, submitting it the day before I went on vacation to the Northern Territory. There wasn’t a lot of reception at Kakadu or some of the other places I visited, and anyway, I tried to avoid the internet as much as possible while I was there, so it was a pleasant surprise to come home and discover the article was accepted and published.

This one is on prison education, or rather, the lack-thereof in the system. Have a read of the article here. I’m not sure if I’ll write another one anytime soon. I only have so many interesting prison experiences that I can segue into an opinion piece. Plus I’m currently a bit swamped putting the final touches on my novel, which I’m pleased to announce, has been accepted by an independent traditional publisher and is on track to be published later this year. Watch this space folks.

First art video released on YouTube

So my art account on Instagram has been doing fairly well, especially now that I’m on uni break and have finally had the time to work on my backlog of commissions. This week, however, I got around to doing something I’d been meaning to do for a long time. I recorded myself drawing on time-lapse video.

The time-lapse records a period of just under two hours, though I did spend a good half-hour touching the portrait up once the camera stopped rolling. Fun fact: it took me longer to teach myself how to edit with iMovie to make this clip than it did to draw the actual picture. Hope you enjoy.