Serious corruption risk in Queensland jails
A DAMNING report into Queensland jails has found significant risk of corruption within the prison system.
The Crime and Corruption Commission investigation, released today, recommends broadscale changes to a system that "is not effectively preventing, detecting or dealing" with graft.
The CCC's Taskforce Flaxton found failing to report corruption, inappropriate relationships involving prison staff, excessive force, misuse of authority and smuggled contraband were "particularly evident" in Queensland jails.
Overcrowding and secrecy were also creating corruption risks.
"In the CCC's view, the existing framework operating in Queensland is not effectively preventing, detecting or dealing with corruption risk or corruption in prisons," CCC boss Alan MacSporran said.
The CCC found a culture of fear and reprisal within the state's 14 prisons led to corruption allegations been significantly swept under the carpet.
At the "core" of corrupt conduct was inappropriate relationships between prison staff and inmates.
"Inappropriate relationships are cultivated by prisoners, outside associates of prisoners and prison staff through manipulation, intimidation, threats, coercion and cooperation," the Flaxton report said.
"Motivations … are typically economic, sexual or emotional in nature."
In recent years the level of contraband found smuggled into prisons has officially increased 116 per cent.
But the real figure is likely to be higher, the report said.
The anti-corruption taskforce was told of prison staff who encourage prisoners to bash other inmates, alter official reports, deny medical help to prisoners and fail to record assaults.
Accessing confidential information without approval and lying on official reports were "significant issues in Queensland prisons".
Taskforce Flaxton was instigated in March after the CCC received reports of corrupt conduct involving prison staff.
As revealed by the Courier Mail today Arthur Gorrie prison guard Billie Raven John Siolo, 26, and his former colleague Daniel Jared Arriagada, 29, have since been charged with allegedly peddling steroids in jail.
The CCC report made 33 recommendations including:
Strengthening pre-employment screening.
Increasing powers to search prison staff working in prisons.
Reducing high-risk CCTV blind spots.
Increasing body worn cameras in Queensland prisons.
Establishing a discipline unit.