Prison staff hit with stiff new bonking ban

A NEW bonking ban for Queensland prisons could see staff jailed for having sex with offenders if the law passes parliament.

The new offence, which carries up to three years jail, follows several dangerous sexual liaisons behind the barbed wire.

Last year a state tribunal heard that a prison nurse had a secret sexual relationship with a patient who was serving a life sentence for murder, arranging for them to be alone together for rendezvous in the jail health clinic.

In 2012 two staff members were forced to resign for having sexual trysts with prisoners at different prisons.

The laws follow an anti-corruption probe into the Queensland jail system which found inappropriate relationships were at the core of corrupt conduct.

The Crime and Corruption Commission's Taskforce Flaxton found more than 20 per cent of correctional staff and prisoners had seen staff have inappropriate relationships with inmates.

"I am confident that the reforms we are introducing will lead to better safety outcomes for our Custodial Officers, and importantly will also enhance the integrity of our Corrections network," Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan told the Courier Mail yesterday.

Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan
Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan

 

Under the legislation, introduced in parliament last week, the new offence covers sexual conduct or "other physical expressions of affection or sexual contact, or the exchange of written or other forms of communications of a sexual nature".

It also extends behind the prison walls with sexual relationships between staff and offenders on a community based order similarly banned.

Prison officer safety will also be beefed up with prisoners who seriously assault a guard to face a possible 14 extra years behind bars.

"This will ensure that in circumstances where a prisoner bites, spits, throws bodily fluid or faeces, causes bodily harm to the officer, or if the prisoner is or pretends to be, armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument, the maximum penalty of 14 years can be applied," Mr Ryan said.

"It is imperative that a prisoner who assaults a working corrective services officer is held accountable."

Queensland’s Woodford Prison
Queensland’s Woodford Prison

 

The Corrective Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 also includes powers to have prison staff drug and alcohol tested.

It strengthens powers to prevent prisoners convicted of a sexual offence, murder or serving a life sentence from transferring to a low custody facility such as a prison farm

The bill also paves the way for a permanent firearm amnesty in Queensland following a commitment to introduce one last year.

Originally published as Prison staff hit with stiff new bonking ban


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