Thriller prisoner held in Canberra jail after secret conviction was raided by AFP over memoir | Australia information

A mysterious inmate in a Canberra jail who was prosecuted and jailed in full secrecy has been subjected to a unprecedented crackdown after he wrote a jail memoir, together with federal police raids on him and his household and the freezing of his telephone and e-mail entry.

Little is understood concerning the identification of the prisoner or his crimes, even by senior jail employees on the Alexander Maconochie Centre, the ACT’s jail, the place he has been held since 2018.


Publishing details about the person’s offending has been banned. It isn’t recognized when he was convicted, or how lengthy his sentence was for.

The character of the case has led to uncommon restrictions on the inmate’s contact together with his household and buddies whereas behind bars.

When he began serving his time, the Australian Federal Police requested jail employees to tell them at any level if it appeared somebody was about to reveal the character of his crimes, together with if he tried to obtain any “uncommon guests”.


In February the AFP discovered the person, recognized solely by the pseudonym Alan Johns, had written a memoir of his time in jail.

Johns wrote the memoir with the approval of the jail normal supervisor, Ian Robb, and on the recommendation of ACT psychological well being employees, who instructed him writing may assist his long-term restoration.

Robb then left the jail and a brand new supervisor, Corinne Justason, was appointed. Johns requested Justason whether or not a Canberra writer – whose identification has additionally been saved secret – may go to him to assist publish the work.


Johns’s plans have been communicated to the AFP, which acted swiftly. Officers raided the prisoner’s cell and his brother’s house, seizing the memoir and different paperwork.

The inmate’s entry to the jail e-mail system – which is carefully monitored for all inmates – was severely restricted. He was briefly denied all contact together with his household, and indefinitely prevented from sending attachments.

Details about the existence of the thriller prisoner got here to mild solely as a result of he fought the actions of jail employees and the ACT authorities within the ACT supreme court docket.


The judgment on his battle with prison authorities over the memoir was delivered publicly by Justice John Burns earlier this month, although it contained no figuring out info outlining his crimes or his previous.

Burns famous that it was an ACT psychological well being nurse who had first suggested Johns to start writing on 12 September 2018, as a part of his psychological well being restoration plan.

“One of many targets in that plan was that the plaintiff would write and submit three manuscripts over a interval of six months. The plaintiff acknowledged that he started writing, and produced two novel size manuscripts.


“He described one as being ‘an alternate historical past fiction novel’, and the opposite as a memoir exploring points of his time within the AMC.”

The novels have been written on jail computer systems. Two months later, Johns stated he met the jail’s departing normal supervisor, Robb.

He stated Robb had instructed him he had learn the memoir and “had no difficulty with its contents”.


“The plaintiff [Johns] stated that he instructed Mr Robb that he wished to publish his work, and Mr Robb wished him luck.”

In February, Johns requested the brand new jail boss, Justason, for permission to obtain a go to from the key Canberra writer.

9 days later, he discovered that police had raided his brother’s house looking for the memoir.


His e-mail entry was restricted and police raided his cell and seized copies of his memoir and different writings. Johns complained to Justason, and later made complaints to the official customer and ombudsman, to no avail.

Justason stated police had requested jail employees to inform them at any level if it appeared that commonwealth orders imposing strict secrecy on the case have been prone to being breached.

This included “if any uncommon guests have been added, or sought to be added, to the record of accepted guests or callers to the plaintiff”.


“Ms Justason acknowledged that, per the follow that had developed, she contacted the AFP on 6 February 2019 to point that this individual [the author] had sought to go to the plaintiff and to ask whether or not the AFP would have any issues concerning the individual visiting him,” Burns wrote in his judgment.

“Ms Justason stated that, in reply, the AFP indicated that they might have issues if the individual seemed to be an writer.”

Johns argued in court docket that the jail authorities had improperly exercised their powers in notifying the AFP and limiting his e-mail. He sought judicial evaluation of each choices.


Johns wished the jail to “present him with copies of any present court docket orders and/or different relevant restrictions or expectations of his behaviour for the remaining tenure of his incarceration” and for restrictions on his e-mail to be lifted.

However Burns stated it was not doable to grant the aid he sought, as a result of he was now not an inmate on the jail.

Burns additionally stated not one of the inmate’s rights had been infringed by the jail’s actions.


“The declarations sought by the plaintiff are merely not obtainable,” he wrote. “He has not established that the declarations are aimed in the direction of authorized controversies concerning rights which might be protected or enforced within the courts. On the details of this matter, not one of the plaintiff’s rights have been infringed.”