MANDATORY sentencing — a key element of Labor’s policy to deter asylum boats — is having the opposite effect, encouraging Indonesian crew attracted by Australia’s relatively high prison pay.
Lawyer and former diplomat Anthony Sheldon says jailed crew members can make $20 a day in Australian jails, in his submission to the Gillard government’s expert panel on asylum-seekers.
Sadly, the rest is gated…but there is also this bit:
“The preference of a number of older fishermen is to remain in detention in Australia,” Mr Sheldon says in the submission.
“Depending on their jobs in prison, they can earn up to $20 per day, making them wealthy beyond comparison upon their return to their villages after their sentence is served.
“They also receive free dental and medical services during their imprisonment. “Combined with the relative safety of their work in prison compared to the dangerous work at sea, Australian imprisonment is very desirable.”
For the pointer I thank Philip Hegarty.