Vulnerable prisoners 'raped' in jail - Human Rights Watch
DISABLED prisoners were raped, abused and bashed with little response from guards in Queensland jails according to an explosive Human Rights Watch report.
The report found some sex offenders were given the job of caring for prisoners with disabilities and some abused prisoners with disabilities and some guards racially abused prisoners.
Queensland Corrective Services commissioner Peter Martin said multiple reviews would be launched into the report's allegations.
Mr Martin urged Human Rights Watch to give any evidence of crimes to the police or Crime and Corruption Commission.
"The claims of abuse need to be properly investigated," he said.
The report found prisoners with disabilities were seen as "easy targets" for sexual abuse and violence.
"One man with a cognitive disability described being attacked by three male prisoners in a shower, with two holding him down and forcing him to kiss the penis of the third. 'I tried to run away to try to get help and shout out to the prison guards, but they were too far,' he said. 'I could not do anything because I would be labelled a dog [traitor]'," the report said.
"Some staff also abuse prisoners with a disability. A woman with a psychosocial disability said that she "got hit on sexually by officers quite regularly. They catch you when you're working by yourself and touch your boobs, bum, or put a hand around your waist. Or they make stupid comments like 'You've been here a while, you must be horny'."
The report said authorities told one prisoner he would be placed in a detention unit for six months if he reported his alleged rape.
Human Rights Watch visited prisons across Queensland including the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre in the Lockyer Valley, Woodford Correctional Centre on the Sunshine Coast and Lotus Glen Correctional Centre near Townsville.
The groups also visited Wolston, Arthur Gorrie and the Brisbane Women's Correctional Centres near Ipswich.
The report does not identify at which prisons the alleged abuses occurred.
Mr Martin said he did not believe the problems were "endemic" across the state's prison network and said families did not need to fear for locked-up loved ones.
"What has happened here is Human Rights Watch has taken some extreme examples. In no way do I believe they are endemic to prisons across Queensland," he said.
Mr Martin, who has been in the role for just three months, said allegations guards abused or racially vilified prisoners should be investigated and if proven would have consequences.
"We're not a perfect organisation. But we are a good organisation," he said. -NewsRegional