Most middle class Australians don't expect ever to finish up in prison, and they show little interest in prison conditions. A lot of people believe that all people imprisoned in Australia are imprisoned because they deserve to be. Even if this were so, which it is not (see list of research articles end of this article), removal of freedom is not supposed to be exacerbated by additional horrible conditions.
This household had a moment of great joy last night, to hear that Judge Vanessa Baraitser, presiding at the Magistrate's court, has disallowed Julian Assange's extradition on medical grounds. She found there was a high risk of his suiciding if confined in a US prison. However, she apparently threw out the grounds of public interest (protection of journalists); political persecution, and oppression. She also seems to have upheld the honouring of the UK treaty obligations to the United States, as the only public interest matter. For some of us, her decision on medical grounds, that Assange would probably suicide in US prison conditions, is equivalent to preventing the extradition of a prisoner to Nazi Germany, on grounds that they would probably not survive the concentration camps. The US prison system actually allows major corporations to benefit from slave labour of prisoners; it conducts secret trials; and it holds prisoners indefinitely without trial - as in Guantanamo Bay prison. The war crimes and international surveillance of governments and private individuals that Julian Assange exposed show the United States as a totally rogue state. It is not even a party to the International Criminal Court. Julian Assange's defense team called the UK treaty obligations with this rogue state into question. We need an international media and state denunciation of state alliances with the United States, but that would, ironically, require journalists to run the danger of being pursued by this rogue state, just as Julian Assange has been. One hopes that a defense of Julian Assange against the US appeal would benefit from a higher court looking again at the points of law disallowed by Judge Baraitser.