Australia's National Prison Newspaper

About Time
Media Ltd.

Australia's National Prison Newspaper

About Time
Media Ltd.

Australia's National
Prison Newspaper

About Time
Media Ltd.

Welcome to Australia’s National Prison Newspaper

About Time will be a place for news and education, expression and hope

by Joseph Friedman, Rosie Heselev, Helen Blaber, Brett Collins and Marietta Martinovic

18.4.2024

Australia has never had a regular national prison newspaper. As Damien Linanne, a former incarcerated person, writes in these pages, there have been at least 67 prison newsletters and magazines in Australian prison history, but none that have been distributed regularly to every cell in the nation. We believe it’s about time that changed.

Thirty-four years ago, on the other side of the world in Manchester, England, people in prison were frustrated. They felt kept in the dark about what was happening to them.

In response, a charity known as the New Bridge Foundation (which creates links between people in prison and the wider community) had the idea to create a newspaper for incarcerated people. Their aim was to provide a platform for people in prison to share their own thoughts, and to access reliable information about relevant issues.

The idea was novel, and the paper’s success highly uncertain. But Inside Time (as it came to be called) gained instant credibility and popularity. Today, a paper that begun with 12 pages is a much-loved full-colour, 50+page publication distributed monthly, for free, to every prison cell in the United Kingdom (over 50,000 copies).

The heart of Inside Time is the ‘mailbag’ section, which publishes dozens of letters from people inside prison. Inside Time receives hundreds of letters and legal queries each month and tries to publish as many as possible. It is “a sounding board for prisons and a platform where they can make their voices heard.”

These are the words of John Bowers, the paper’s former commissioning editor, who spoke to The Guardian’s Alexandra Topping in 2008 for an article about the newspaper.

Topping spent 15 years in prison himself, and indeed, the majority of Inside Time’s content is produced by incarcerated people. As their publisher and director, John Roberts, said for the same article, “Prisoners wanted their own newspaper that was solely for them. Rather than a journalist telling prisoners about their problems, they wanted to be saying it themselves.”

About Time — the new national newspaper for Australian prisons and detention facilities — is inspired by Inside Time. We hope to be similarly successful.

We understand the need for a consistent, accessible and reliable platform for news and expression for people in prison and their loved ones. We hope to provide people in prison with an opportunity to share their stories and develop a sense of connection. We hope to act as a bridge between the prison and the outside world.

We will report the news, specifically focusing on issues that affect people in prison — including changes to criminal laws and the justice system, new cases that affect incarcerated people’s rights, new policies and procedures inside prisons, and other issues that affect people in prison just as they would affect people outside.

We will publish the letters of people who are currently and were formerly in prison, as well as letters from their friends and families. These letters will be a chance for incarcerated people to tell their stories; share advice; express concerns, fears and hope; and write about anything at all. We encourage contributions.

We will have a section dedicated to legal education and information. It will provide information about access to legal and social resources, how to seek and receive effective legal representation, what to believe and what not to believe about rumours going around the prison.

We will share your jokes, poetry, songs, music lyrics and artwork. We will publish cartoons, games, riddles and brain teasers. We will offer tips about preparing for life outside prison, and how to stay healthy.

And if there’s anything you think we’re missing, just let us know and we’ll work to provide that too.

We are a small organisation, supported by volunteers from criminal justice organisations across the country. The newspaper will be free for people inside prison, and available online or in print via subscription for people outside. It will be funded by advertisers and generous donors.

If you believe in our mission, if you find value in the content throughout these pages, we ask that you share the paper far and wide, and contribute. We hope you enjoy.

Image by: Ike Curtis

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About Us

Welcome to About Time

About Time is the national newspaper for Australian prisons and detention facilities

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