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Goulburn prison officers fear leaked lists circulating jail

Photos: Darryl Fernance, Goulburn Post.A UNION is calling on Corrective Services to fully investigate how a list of prison officers’ names found its way into Goulburn Jail’s Super Max unit.
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Chair of the PSA’s Prison Officers Vocational Branch Steve McMahon said his union has placed full pressure on management to investigate and act.

“It is of major concern to us and the Department has responded by investigating. We are trying to find out how that came to be in the High Risk Management Unit.”

Mr McMahon did not have the full details on what the list contained, besides names, but he feared inmates could easily capitalise.

“Some prisoners have quite a lot of resources available to them to seek and get any further information they’re looking for,” he said.

“We deal with them every day. They are among the most dangerous criminals in NSW and it is not beyond their capacity to get the private details of prison officers … They have money behind them.”

Mr McMahon said the Public Service Association was doing everything it could to ensure officers were protected and that it didn’t happen again.

On Saturday, Assistant Commissioner for Custodial Corrections, Kevin Corcoran said he understood the list was prepared to go to the Ombudsman’s office.

“Presumably an inmate intends to lodge some sort of complaint about staff,” he said.

Mr Corcoran denied claims a staff roster had also been found in the High Risk Management Unit, or that the list included officers’ home addresses.

But on Monday a Corrective Services spokeswoman said an inmate allegedly had access to a roster sheet containing staff names only.

“It was inadvertently given to him with other documentation. The staff affected have been notified and assured of their safety,” she said.

Meantime, Mr McMahon said the Department had freed up more resources to ensure officers could fully respond to inmates’ “bad behaviour.”

On Monday the jail was back to normal operations, in contrast to the weekend lockdowns.

He confirmed Sunday’s lockdown, which lasted until 9am Monday, was sparked by “a demonstration of the very worst behaviour”.

“Gas was used to safely remove two inmates from their cell when they lit a fire inside,” the Corrective Services spokeswoman said.

“This was after one of the inmates was found in possession of a SIM card and drugs during a strip search.

“In a separate incident two inmates became violent and assaulted staff during the removal of a television from their cell. Force was used to subdue the men with no injuries to staff or inmates.”

Mr McMahon said the same inmates who had refused to muster on Friday, prompting Saturday’s lockdown, were involved.

They also flooded several cells by leaving taps on and blocking drains, he claimed.

“(They did it because) we dared to tell them that enough was enough and that they had to follow the rules,” he said.

“It’s exactly the type of recalcitrant, bad behaviour we see from these people, the very same ones that assault police on the outside. When they come into custody they refuse to follow the rules.”

Four inmates were placed in segregation as a result and another two under review. No visitors were allowed into the jail.

Hume Local Area Commander Chad Gillies said police were investigating, but no charges had yet been laid.

They had received allegations of malicious damage by fire, assault of a prison officer and possession of a prohibited drug in a cell.

On Monday talks between the union and local management resumed about added interim and long-term security measures at the jail.

Mr McMahon said while the Department had provided many additional resources, within existing capacity, officers didn’t need the added headache of alleged Super Max security breaches over the Christmas period.

Originally published as Goulburn prison officers fear private lists circulate cellsby Goulburn Post.

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