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Published date: Tuesday, 28 May 2019
[PDF version of this media release]
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will today move to close a legal loophole and enhance prison officers’ safety by giving them greater certainty when managing inmates.
Minister forCounter Terrorism and Corrections Anthony Roberts said the amendments to the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 will allow inmates who misbehave or assault staff to have prison privileges withdrawn without it affecting criminal or offence-in-custody proceedings.
“Our hardworking prison officers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the State and these changes will ensure they are able to do their job safely, efficiently and with authority,” Mr Roberts said.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to delivering a safer workplace for prison officers. It also sends a clear message to all inmates who choose to assault our staff that they will face the full force of the law and they will be punished.
The move follows a District Court decision in February, which overturned an inmate’s 20-month prison sentence for assaulting an officer at Goulburn’s High Risk Management Correctional Centre. The Director of Public Prosecutions is seeking a judicial review into the decision.
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the legislative changes were part of our ongoing commitment to enhancing officer safety and their ability to manage difficult inmates appropriately.
“These amendments will ensure that staff within the HRMCC and elsewhere, are protected,” Mr Severin said.
“Our officers can now be confident that the Behaviour Management Program framework, which helps to maintain safety and security in the centre, does not undermine criminal or offence-in-custody proceedings.”