An investigation of Queensland prison officers has found evidence of corruption and conflicts of interest between prisoners and guards.
Queensland Corrective Services found that the interest ranged from “sexual activity” between guards and prisoners to suspected bribes, according to documents obtained under Right to Information laws.
Since January 1, 2009, there have been five substantiated cases where correctional services officers (four women and a man) and inmates have become intimately and “inappropriately” involved and three more are being investigated.
According to a special Courier-Mail investigation, nine prisoners have escaped custody in the past two-and-a-half years.
While acknowledging security implications, Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Kelvin Anderson said none of the recent escapes were related to bent staff.
“Clearly one of the reasons we cannot and will not accept people forming relationships with prisoners is that it goes fundamentally to the good order of the prison,” Courier Mail quoted him as saying.
Anderson labelled the actions of some staff as “stupid” but said it was only a small proportion doing the wrong thing with the department employing about 2000 correctional officers, of which 350 were women.
“We run a male system essentially – we employ women in those facilities and the women we employ are great correctional officers,” he said.
“I don”t want to link four bad pieces of behaviour to what a great job these women do,” he added.
Recent cases involved a CSO found guilty of giving money and writing “sexually explicit” letters to prisoners. Another had a prisoner organise them a free tattoo at a parlour associated with the Finks bikie group.
A third guard “dated” an offender while he was on parole. She admitted the relationship began while he was in jail but denied it got physical until after he was released.
Four of the five CSOs quit and the other was sacked.
-With couriermail.com.au input Image courtesy: couriermail.com.au