Queensland Prison Remains In Lockdown Amid Staff Dispute

Prisoner-to-officer ratio among issues

7 July 2017

Article heading image for Queensland Prison Remains In Lockdown Amid Staff Dispute

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A Queensland prison remains in lockdown after its staff were reportedly refused entry to the facility – drawing some pretty interesting parallels to Orange Is The New Black’s Litchfield Penitentiary.

Many of the Arthur Gorrie Correction Centre correctional officers due to clock-on this morning at 6am but an ongoing disagreement on a new pay deal meant workers didn’t even get through the front door, reports AAP.

United Voice spokesman Damien Davie said stop work meetings had been planned on Friday and Saturday to try and reach a solution.

"What our members have been complaining about is the officer-to-prisoner ratio," he said.

"In a public run prison they have two officers on the floor regardless of the amount of inmates.

"There's currently one officer to between 36 and 40 (inmates), and sometimes as bad as one to 62.

"There should be two on the floor at all times. That is leading to assaults on our members, it's leading to prisoner violence, drugs in the prison going undetected, prisoner behaviour not being corrected, just sheerly due to the lack of boots on the ground."

Mr Davie claims GEO Group – subcontracted by the state government to run the southeastern Brisbane facility – under-reported such incidents.

He said staff members allowed inside on Friday were mostly junior officers who’d only just finished their training.

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