The perils of prisoner Pauline
By Philip Cornford
Date: August 22 2003
Pauline Hanson found herself in peril yesterday and was put into maximum
security protective custody in a women's prison where most of the
inmates are Aborigines and Asians, whom she railed against during her
brief but spectacular political career.
"As a new prisoner who has a high profile, Hanson will be isolated from
the mainstream prison population for her own protection," a corrective
services spokesman said.
The One Nation founder spent the second night of her three-year sentence
in the protection unit of Brisbane Women's Prison in the western suburb
of Wacol, waiting for lawyers to get a hearing date for an appeal
against her conviction for electoral fraud.
The appeal application was lodged yesterday, but it could be months
before it is heard. However, Hanson's lawyers can now seek bail pending
David Ettridge, co-founder of Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party in
February 1997, was in nearby Arthur Gorrie Jail, also sentenced to three
Hanson, who friends said hates to be by herself, was more alone than she
has ever been in her 49 years, locked in one of 20 cells in Unit S10,
the prison's two-storey maximum security block.
A "high percentage" of the 203 prisoners are Aborigines and Asians who
have no reason to like, and every reason to dislike, Hanson and One
Nation, whose xenophobic policies attacked immigration and government
spending on indigenous problems.
Democrats' Senator Adam Ridgway, an Aborigine, appealed for Hanson to be
in protective custody "given that a lot of indigenous people are in
A previous high-profile inmate of S10 was the former Queensland chief
magistrate Diane Fingleton, jailed in June for a year for making a
threat against another magistrate.
But Fingleton was moved two weeks ago to a halfway house and can do
community work, a move which might give hope to Hanson's lawyers.
Hanson was strip-searched for the third time after transfer from the
Brisbane Watchhouse. Her first day was then spent learning the rules and
getting "kitted out".
Former prisoner Debbie Kilroy has no doubts about what was it was like.
"Stressful, traumatic; it's an absolutely fearful and forbidding
environment for any woman," said Ms Kilroy, who spent 10 years in jail.
"Pauline had hard-headed attitudes. I'm sure she's having an experience
on the other side now."
Did she feel sympathy?
"There's a lot of women who are doing a lot more time for a lot less,"
said Ms Kilroy, founder of the group Sisters Inside.
Hanson's signature red lipstick was among the items she had to
surrender, along with her fashionable clothes. She was given a blue-grey
tracksuit and blue sweat shirt, a dress, a flannelette nightgown,
pillow, sheets, doona, one pair of socks, thongs and gym shoes.
She also got a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and towel. The cell has a
hardboard bed with a thin mattress. There is a toilet and shower, but no
The door has a security grille. Another barred window overlooks the
men's prison - and will give Hanson her only outside view. There is no
radio, but she can rent a TV for $2 a week.
She will be able to buy food and other personal requirements from the
prison store. She will be allowed visitors.
Her days will begin at 6am with cereal, toast and fruit. Lunch is a
sandwich at 11.30am and the final hot meal is in the cells about 4.30pm.
At 5pm prisoners are locked in.
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