New rule after prison officer bashed
PRISONERS will undergo half jail lock-ups for greater safety after an officer was savagely bashed at Woodford Correctional Centre this week.
It comes a day after prison officers gave Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan an ultimatum, days out from Christmas, demanding greater safety measures for staff.
It's understood that under the arrangement, reached at Queensland's Industrial Relations Commission, half of prisoners in jails will be locked up at a time so there are less on the floor with staff.
The officer attacked on Tuesday was coward punched a number of times and then kicked to the head at the overcrowded jail, which is about 500 criminals over capacity.
He was flown out of the jail after the vicious assault. The officer was bashed after he told a prisoner he could not get out of a double-up cell (with another prisoner) to a single cell by himself.
In a letter to the minister, the Together Union said officers had been raising grave concerns in relation to the rising violence within prisons, specifically as a result of the overcrowding across Queensland jails.
It said a lack of funding and consultation had been a contributing factor over the past four years.
"Thus, we now find ourselves trying to console an officer and his family who was only by sheer luck not killed yesterday," the letter said.
"This officer now lies in a hospital bed with multiple face fractures and is faced with the extremely difficult road to recovery both physically and mentally all the while wondering why his employer seemingly did very little to prevent his assault and the many other assaults on his colleagues and friends."
Officers at Woodford walked off the job yesterday but have returned today.
The list of demands in the letter included a commitment from the government to build a new jail.
The list of demands also included capsicum spray, body-worn cameras for all officers, half-unit lock downs, two officers per "post" every day, to refer all staff assaults to police for charges to be laid and to install service hatches.
The Crime and Corruption Commission's Taskforce Flaxton report released last week found there had been increased assaults in prisons due to overcrowding.