A prisoner’s diary: what life is really like in one of Australia’s toughest prisons

A pizzeria owner who went to prison for drug trafficking has spoken about his time behind bars and shared the extraordinary advice prison authorities have given to new inmates.

Andrew Hamilton, 36, was arrested for commercially supplying magic mushrooms (psilocybin), LSD and MDMA in June 2021 and spent four months in maximum-security pretrial detention in two prisons.

This week, Hamilton shared conflicting information about his short stints in prison, uploading a video explaining the actual advice given to inmates by bosses on drug use and safe sex.

Hamilton said ‘lots of medicine’ was available inside Parklea and even offered to him – even during the Covid-19 lockdown

Parklea Prison Inmate Orientation and Orientation Manual advises

In addition to advice on sex and drugs, the inmate induction guide includes a list of 'things to do in Parklea'

Parklea Prison Inmate Induction and Orientation Manual advises ‘to use condoms for sex’ and ‘to smoke, swallow, snort or put drugs on the shelves’ – although the private prison operator says inmates are told drug use is illegal

Hamilton shared several pages of the 2021 male-only Parklea Prison Inmate Induction and Orientation Manual, which has a section called “how to protect yourself.”

Suggestions included are “use condoms for sex” and “smoke, swallow, snort, or lay off drugs.”

To “set aside” medications means to insert them into the anus.

“This is an actual printed booklet from Parklea Correctional Center recommending that instead of injecting drugs, the best thing to do is shove drugs up your ass,” Hamilton said in the TikTok clip.

The manual advises users who want to inject their drugs on how to do so more safely by cleaning their needles with a disinfectant called ‘Fincol’.

“Fincol should be available in every area of ​​Parklea.”

Along with advice on sex and drugs, the inmate induction guide includes a list of “things to do in Parklea”, including “library, art, music” and a hair salon.

A spokesperson for the prison’s private operator, MTC-Broadspectrum, said inmates are actively discouraged from using drugs and “any inmate found in possession of drugs is subject to misconduct charges.”

Hamilton has been clean for 15 months, regularly attends a drug recovery program and has done 140 comedy shows

Hamilton has been clean for 15 months, regularly attends a drug recovery program and has done 140 comedy shows

Hamilton also shared pages from the diaries he wrote at Parklea Prison and Long Bay Prison with Daily Mail Australia

Hamilton also shared pages from the diaries he wrote at Parklea Prison and Long Bay Prison with Daily Mail Australia

He added: “Many drug addicted inmates find it difficult to stop using drugs in prison, so advice is given to protect their safety and minimize harm.”

Parklea is a male-only minimum and maximum security prison in Sydney’s North West with a capacity of 1,350 inmates.

Hamilton told Daily Mail Australia he had not had sex indoors and had never seen prisoners “get along with each other”.

“But I’m sure it’s happened plenty of times.”

But Hamilton said “lots of drugs” were available inside and were even offered to him.

“I saw a lot of drug use and I was offered a lot, but I was going through a crossroads, so I abstained from all that and started trying to change my life.

Hamilton spent four months at Parklea Correctional Center (above) in north-west Sydney last year before being released on bail with conditions including that he live with his mother and father

Hamilton spent four months at Parklea Correctional Center (above) in north-west Sydney last year before being released on bail with conditions including that he live with his mother and father

“Drugs are everywhere in prison, even during the Covid lockdown when there were no visitors there was still a lot of drugs flowing.”

He has been sober for 15 months and regularly attends a detox program.

Before going to prison, Hamilton was a young man in public relations, before running a pizzeria called Brooklyn Crispy in Potts Point in 2021.

But on the side, he ran a business selling drugs for the holidays.

This led to a raid on his Surry Hills home by police on June 4.

Hamilton is set to make his official comedian debut in late September in an edgy-titled show

Hamilton is set to make his official comedian debut in late September in a show with the edgy title ‘Let’s Grab a Bag (of Comedy)’

Police reportedly found 17 grams of cocaine, 43.7 grams of ecstasy and 8 grams of ketamine, a sedative that induces a trance state and is used medically for anesthesia.

They also allegedly located a commercial amount (413 grams) of psilocybin, known as magic mushrooms, and 3.4 grams of lysergic acid, or LSD, along with $12,450 in cash.

Hamilton also shared pages from the diaries he wrote at Parklea Prison and Long Bay Prison with Daily Mail Australia.

These pages contained the regrets and fears he faced inside and plans for a new life based on a drastic life change – becoming an actor.

“It was mostly about my family and my dogs (which were relocated while I was in prison) or things I was grateful for, like my health and my sense of humour.

“When I was sitting in jail I had a lot of time to think about what I regretted not doing in life and the answer was not doing stand-up.

“I absolutely regret the impact of my mistakes on everyone I care about,” he said.

“I’m very lucky that my family and friends have stayed by my side and are now fully supportive of my journey.”

Hamilton said he was not made to feel unsafe by other prisoners. “I was treated very well by the other inmates,” he said.

“They helped me stay positive during times when I was struggling.”

Before going to jail, Mr Hamilton ran a pizzeria called Brooklyn Crispy in Potts Point in 2021, but on the side he ran a business selling party drugs.

Before going to jail, Mr Hamilton ran a pizzeria called Brooklyn Crispy in Potts Point in 2021, but on the side he ran a business selling party drugs.

Hamilton was recognized in 2013 by B&T magazine, Australia’s leading publication for the advertising, marketing and public relations industries, as one of its 30 young stars under 30.

But his memories of the prison guards at Parklea were not so positive.

“The only thing that made me feel unsafe were the guards and the medical staff at Parklea because there were numerous incidents where people pressed the medical emergency button in their cells and that took ages for anyone to come.

“I am an asthmatic myself and asked the medical staff every day for two months for an asthma inhaler and never got one. But in Long Bay, I received Ventolin as soon as I arrived.

In July 2022, he was finally sentenced to an Intensive Correctional Order, which includes 200 hours of community service and means he cannot commit any further offenses for the next two and a half years.

Hamilton, whose Facebook profile says he is

Hamilton, whose Facebook profile says he is ‘dumber than most’, was arrested at his Surry Hills home in Sydney by the Proactive Crime Squad

If he does, he goes back to jail.

Hamilton works in event management and aims to become a full-time comedian.

While out on bail, Hamilton took his first timid steps towards his new career, posting cheeky videos with his prison meal reviews.

He did more than 140 comedy shows and is set to make his official comedian debut in late September in an edgy-titled show’Let’s take a bag (of comedy)‘.

Parklea Prison Private Operator Response – MTC-Broadspectrum

“Parklea Correctional Center has a strong anti-drug policy which focuses on reducing the drug supply in the prison and minimizing the harm that can be caused by drug use.

“We actively discourage inmates from taking drugs and any inmate found in possession of drugs is subject to misconduct charges.

Parklea is a male-only minimum and maximum security prison in Sydney's North West with a capacity of 1,350 inmates

Parklea is a male-only minimum and maximum security prison in Sydney’s North West with a capacity of 1,350 inmates

“Targeted drug reduction strategies include regularly searching cells, common areas and perimeters, using our two drug detention dogs and requiring all visitors and staff to pass through X-ray body scans before entering the prison.

“We also aim to reduce the demand for drugs through targeted programs and have set up a drug recovery wing, with drug counseling and mentorship.

“However, many drug addicted prisoners find it difficult to stop using drugs in prison, so advice is given to protect their safety and minimize harm.

“Inmates face serious penalties if they fail drug tests, but treatment and recovery options are offered to inmates in partnership with our health partner St Vincent’s Health.”


Source link

Comments are closed.