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Publication date: Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Up to 27 inmates from South Coast Correctional Centre are being investigated over their involvement in a disturbance at the Nowra facility on 3 January.
Corrective Services NSW staff are reviewing extensive CCTV footage recorded from a number of cameras throughout the centre, which captured the lead-up to the incident.
Commissioner Peter Severin said four inmates, who appeared to be key perpetrators, have been moved to other centres, while eight others have been placed in segregation.
"This type of behaviour is unacceptable and our staff are working hard to ensure the inmates responsible are charged over their involvement in the incident, which put officers and other inmates at risk," Mr Severin said.
"Our Nowra officers also did a great job in quickly and capably defusing the incident and maintaining the security of the centre, and I thank them for their professional handling of this situation."
The incident began about 9.30am when a maximum-security inmate started a fire and refused to vacate his cell. Gas was deployed to remove the inmate safely.
Governor Mick Reid said the incident had a ripple effect across three other yards in the centre, with inmates becoming abusive and defiant.
"Two other maximum-security inmates climbed on to an awning of an internal building and came back down shortly after without instruction," Mr Reid said.
"Immediate Action Team officers were also forced to deploy gas in the yards of two pods, each containing about 60 inmates, in order to safely return all inmates to their cells.
"All four maximum-security pods were then placed in lock-down with inmates secured in their cells about 11am."
Mr Reid said he was proud of the South Coast officers' fast and effective response.
"Our skilled officers went into those yards full of agitated and aggressive inmates and using their training and professionalism were able to contain the situation without any injuries," Mr Reid said.
"Their expertise and competence should be applauded and should also send a clear warning to all inmates to refrain from such disturbances."
NSW Police are also investigating the incident and will interview all inmates involved with charges expected.