Privatisation rules; can’t live with them and can’t kill them

Yet more misery in Australia caused by a privatised detention centre. Another report that will certainly not cause the Federal government to find a way to ditch Serco for its continually poor performance and standards (via the Australian):

A NSW coroner has slammed the immigration department and two private contractors for failing in their duty of care to three asylum-seekers who took their own lives over a three-month period in 2010.

In an inquest into the deaths of the three men at Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, Magistrate Mary Jerram found the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Serco Australia and International Health and Medical Services had failed to recognise and properly care for the three detainees’ deteriorating mental states.

In all three deaths she described the actions of some staff as “careless, ignorant or both”, and found that communications between the different agencies were “sadly lacking”.

Ms Jerram found staff were poorly trained and key protocols were not followed, describing the situation immediately prior to one death as “chaotic”, and the actions of one staff member in relation to another as “deplorable”.

The three men, Josefa Rauluni, Ahmed Al-Akabi and David Saunders, all took their own lives at the Villawood detention centre in Sydney’s west between September and December 2010, Ms Jerram found.

Mr Rauluni, a Fijian citizen, plunged to his death from a balcony after his application for asylum was refused and multiple attempts at appeal had failed.

An IHMS officer had identified Mr Rauluni as being at “no immediate risk” of self harm, just days before he told a relative and fellow inmate he would “find somewhere to jump from” if his final appeal failed, and written to the minister stating if he was returned it would be his “dead body”.

Ms Jerram found scenes immediately prior to Mr Rauluni’s death were “chaotic”, with people shouting at Mr Rauluni, who was “becoming increasingly upset, stepping up onto the balcony rail and then off again”.

A short time later he dived head first onto the concrete and died.

At the inquest, psychiatrist Michael Diamond was “highly critical of the management of the entire situation”, describing the lack of coordination between Serco and DIAC officials as a “standout”, and deploring the “absence of basic awareness, training and capability to handle a situation of this nature”, according to Ms Jerram’s report.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

Site by Common