"These changes will make me think twice about calling 000 when dealing with someone experiencing psychosis."
- A Victorian nurse
Our nurses, paramedics and ambos shouldn’t be forced to send their patients to jail to get support when they need it.
Update: The bill has passed the lower house – we need your support NOW to stop it before it becomes law.
Frontline health and social workers do some of the most vital work in the community. They care for us and our loved ones and they help us in emergencies.
Proposed laws in parliament now say that if a police officer, protective service officer (PSO), prison guard or paramedic is even scratched the person who injures them must, by law, be imprisoned for at least six months.
These laws will only put frontline health and social workers at more risk. We have to stop this bill becoming law.
A paramedic dealing with an unstable patient may hesitate to ask for help if they feel it means the patient will go to jail.
Women facing family violence may lash out in a moment of fear and vulnerability, putting themselves in prison when they need our help.
Parents have told us they will be too scared to call 000 when their mentally unwell child is in crisis. Too many parents of adult children with mental illness or conditions such as autism already feel alone.
We need to support these families, not make them choose between getting the support they need and sending their children to jail.
If an injury occurs it will be out of the hands of the emergency worker. The patient will go to prison.
Taking the decision out of the hands of emergency workers and judges won’t give anyone the support they need.
Sign this petition to stop these laws.
Mandatory prison laws hurt everyone
Seriously distressed people, people experiencing mental illness, people scared in a crisis – deserve a chance to be heard.
Simply throwing people who need our help on the scrapheap, rather than listening to their stories and understanding them hurts us all.The Australian Law Reform Commission says that mandatory sentencing increases incarceration, is costly, and is not effective as a crime deterrent.
For people already dealing with challenges, six months in prison is a life sentence. In prison, you’re disconnected from family. In prison, when you lose your job you lose your home. And try getting a new job with a jail record. Or renting a home when your last address is “Barwon Corrections Facility”.
These are serious consequences.
Because prison is like quicksand - once you fall in, you can't climb out.
There is a better way.
People struggling with mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction need support, rehabilitation and treatment – not prison.
Emergency service workers need their desperate calls for more workers and money answered.
An ambo should not have to choose between their safety and sending someone to jail.
Sign this petition to call on Premier Daniel Andrews to reject mandatory sentencing.