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Officers and inmates under threat as Minister fails to address prison emergency

  • Serious safety concerns for prison staff and inmates
  • Savings before safety in the prison system
  • Minister out of touch with corrections

Minister for Corrections Elise Archer is failing Tasmanian prison staff and inmates whose safety is continuously being put at risk through critical under-resourcing.

In Budget Estimates today, the Minister showed just how out of touch she is with the true state of Tasmania’s prison system and the effect it is having on staff and inmates.

Shadow Minister for Justice, Ella Haddad, raised a traumatic suicide in custody incident in January which left two correctional officers covered in blood and bodily fluids after trying for two hours to resuscitate the inmate.

The correctional officers say their requests to shower and change clothes after the incident were refused and they were forced to finish their shifts covered in blood and bodily fluids.

Shadow Minister for Justice, Ella Haddad, said the Government was failing correctional officers.

“It is totally unacceptable that these officers were forced to finish their shifts after experiencing such a traumatic event while still remaining in the same blood-stained clothes,” Ms Haddad said.

“There was absolutely no regard for the mental health or personal safety of these officers which were no doubt forced to finish their shifts due to chronic understaffing issues.

“This is just one of many serious concerns being raised by correctional officers and it is clear that the Government is intent on putting savings before safety.

“The Minister has confirmed that dozens of staff are choosing to leave their jobs at the prison service each year.

“Tasmania’s prison system is in crisis and the Minister has careless disregard about chronic under-staffing and safety issues.”

Ella Haddad MP
Shadow Minister for Corrections