A Channel Ten screengrab from 2008 shows Bassam Hamzy being escorted by police in Sydney. Hamzy is allegedly responsible for radicalising some inmates at Goulburn Supermax prison.
A Channel Ten screengrab from 2008 shows Bassam Hamzy being escorted by police in Sydney. Hamzy is allegedly responsible for radicalising some inmates at Goulburn Supermax prison. CHANNEL TEN

Radicalised inmates to stay in jail

JAILED terrorists will be held behind bars for longer if they still pose an "unacceptable” risk to society or if they have been radicalised, under tough new laws announced yesterday by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Responding to the rising threat of terrorism and radicalisation in NSW jails, Ms Berejiklian said the new rules would close a "gap” in the state's post-sentencing regimen.

The Supreme Court will be given powers to detain prisoners if it is deemed they are likely to commit terrorist offences once released.

That judgment will rest with parole authorities, with input from prison bosses, police and others.

The new laws could apply to someone who has not been convicted of a terror offence but has subsequently become radicalised in jail.

The system has been modelled in part on laws regarding sex offenders, who can also be detained if they pose a risk after their jail terms have ended.

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller welcomed the changes and said tough powers were needed to combat terrorism and the threat of radicalisation in the state's jails.

Prisons Minister David Elliott said: "It is unfortunate we have to introduce what are potentially the toughest anti-terrorism laws in the world - laws which look into a man or a woman's heart to determine if they are a risk to the community. But what would be unforgivable for a government is if someone who was radicalised in prison was then released and did harm to society.

"It gives us no pleasure to announce these laws but I think it is the right thing

to do.”

The rules are expected to be introduced to the state parliament next month. NSW would be the first state to enact this type of law but Ms Berejiklian said she hoped others would follow suit.

Radicalisation in prisons has been a vexed issue for the community.

Jailed Brothers 4 Life founder Bassam Hamzy is allegedly responsible for radicalising some inmates at Goulburn Supermax prison, where some of the country's most dangerous inmates are held.

Malcolm Turnbull will propose the laws today at a special counter-terror summit involving all state and territory leaders.

The use of facial recognition technology is also likely to be discussed so law enforcement agencies can better share and identify images of terror suspects.

The Prime Minister will push all states and territories to accept new Commonwealth laws that would apply across Australia.

He will also propose a Commonwealth offence that would give law enforcement agencies stronger powers to target people accessing extremist material before they are ready to plan and launch terrorist attacks.

The PM also wants to create a law to charge people caught perpetrating hoax terror attacks.



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