Counsellor stands by cell visits

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 February, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 February, 1998, 12:00am

The counsellor has not allowed the attack to shake her belief in the need for long-term prisoners to receive visits from volunteers.

She has cut the number of visits she has made since the attack but intends to continue her work.

'The aim is to befriend them. We are their contact with the outside world. They have no one else to visit them,' she said.

The counsellor hit out at the prison system, which she believes has failed to deal with her attacker's problems.

'There absolutely needs to be more done for rehabilitation. It is scary that a lot of people are being released with problems they had when they went in.' She feels a deep sense of betrayal after all her kindness.

'It is incredibly painful when you have really tried your best. You spend a lot of time and energy on someone and then they turn on you.

'I will never talk to him as long as I live. I am terrified of him now. I feel terribly betrayed. The trust between us has now completely gone.' She said when Law attacked her he turned into a different person.

'He lost his marbles. He lost control. He just went crazy,' she said.

The attack has led to other counsellors being urged to take care when meeting prisoners who have been released. But she stressed the attack was very rare.

A spokesman for the Correctional Services Department said it could not accept the victim's remarks that prisoners were being released without their mental problems being dealt with.

Prisoners were assessed upon admission and received help from clinical psychologists if it was needed, he said.