Prison pen-pal program organisers have defended their initiative after NSW Premier Gladys Berijiklian was inadvertently caught up in a fake match up with notorious prisoner Chris “Badness” Binse.
Ms Berijiklian was left “angry and upset” after an old photo of her with Binse was used on Justice Action’s iExpress social media site – a service allowing inmates to connect with members of the public, Nine News reports.
Justice Action coordinator Brett Collins has defended the website but said the image would be removed, taken when Ms Berejiklian met with Justice Action to support their mentoring program.
“iExpress is a very important expression of the right of everyone to exist safely as a person in our community, using technology to retain those rights,” he said.
“Chris Binse is just one of those people. His story is told from his perspective directly from his view.
“The photo with him and the Premier is being replaced with another one we have here, as we don’t want unnecessarily to embarrass the Premier.”
Ms Berejiklian insists the image was never meant for used on the site and demanded its immediate removal.
"I met with Justice Action many years ago when I was a Shadow Minister and obviously would not have envisaged the actions by those in the photo or that the photo would be used in such an inappropriate way,” she said in a statement.
Binse had 96 convictions by the time he was 24, alongside seven armed robbery convictions and six attempted escapes from custody
He’s reportedly known for often sending police officers Christmas cards signed off with “Badness”.