Prison guards left covered in urine

QUEENSLAND prison guards walked off the job because colleagues were forced to keep urine-soaked uniforms on until police arrived to investigate an inmate’s death, Corrective Services Minister Judy Spence says.

Prison officers at the Capricornia Correctional Centre, near Rockhampton, returned at 8am (AEST) today after walking off the job yesterday afternoon.

Ms Spence said today the action was sparked by an incident at the weekend after which a remand prisoner died.

“I understand the reason for this strike is the prison officers (who) had to subdue a prisoner last Saturday, who subsequently died, were required to stay in their clothing until the police came to the prison for their investigation,” Ms Spence said.

“The prison officers’ clothing was urine-affected, so the prison officers were upset about having to stay in that clothing until the police arrived at that prison.”

She said it was unfortunate the prison officers did not express their concerns to management before going on strike.

“It was some time before we understood the reasons for strike action,” she said.

The police investigation into the prisoner’s death was continuing.

“There has been some initial results from the autopsy but we are waiting for further results from the coroner,” Ms Spence said.

The prison officers also ignored a directive from the Industrial Relations Commission to return to work, forcing the prison into lockdown with about 500 high-security inmates being guarded by police.



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