PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little on 7 News about the need for a high risk management unit for violent young offenders in Juvenile Justice.
The Sunday Telegraph backs the PSA’s push for a high risk management unit for violent young offenders in Juvenile Justice.
Record NSW prison population, rising assault rate, show a system ‘in a crisis’ – The Sydney Morning Herald
PSA General Secretary Stewart Little told the Sydney Morning Herald that overcrowding in the state’s prisons are seeing prisoners three up in cells. A recipe for disaster.
“It’s increasing the risks for [staff] at work. Assault rates have dramatically escalated, both inmate on inmate and – of particular concern to us – inmate on officer, and it’s just unacceptable.”
PSA media release:
The Public Service Association (PSA) welcomes the introduction of the inaugural Corrections Day on Friday 20 January 2017 and calls on the NSW Government to recognise Prison Officers as emergency services personnel for the purposes of workers compensation.
Police and other emergency personnel were exempt from the savage workers compensation reforms of the O’Farrell Government in 2012.
The union believes that Prison Officers should also have been granted exemptions from the cuts.
“Prison Officers go to work each day in the most dangerous environment in the country,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.
“Prison Officers are the bobbies on the beat, firefighters, nurses, paramedics and much more. They are the 24 hour a day crisis resolvers.”
“It’s time the NSW Government properly recognised their role and provided the same workers compensation entitlements as other emergency services personnel.”
“There aren’t too many workplaces in the world where the riot squad is on stand by when a ban on smoking is introduced.”
“Overcrowding has exaserbated the situation, making a dangerous environment potentially lethal given when emotions do explode it’s Prison Officers who put their bodies on the line to deal with individuals who have nothing to lose.”
“Prison Officers stand between some of the state’s most notorious criminals and the community but are expected to do so without adequate workers compensation protection for them and their families.”
“That situation must change,” said Stewart Little.
The inaugural Corrections Day on Friday 20 January 2017 is a celebration of the unique community service you all provide that protects the public, changes lives and places individuals, who may have lost their way, back on the right path.
Prison Officers perform a difficult and dangerous job in the often brutal world that exists behind the walls and razor wire.
But there is, of course, another side to Corrections that is also carried out quietly and effectively behind the scenes.
Clerical and administrative workers, Commissioned Officers, General Managers, truck drivers, Community Corrections, Drug and Alcohol Counsellors, those in Industries-Overseers, farming (who grow a lot of the food eaten by prisoners), Psychologists, Security and Intel, Court Escort Security Unit, Services and Programs Officers, Brush Farm Academy, those at the Henry Deane Building and regional offices all make up the bigger Corrections picture in NSW.
Having previously served as a Senior Industrial Officer with the PSA with responsibility for prisons, I am well aware of the significant challenges many of you face at work, not the least most recently being overcrowding and the threat of privatisation.
I believe the proposed introduction of Rapid Build Units within prisons also opens a Pandora’s box of issues while the fate of John Morony will be critical in determining the future shape of Corrections in this state.
I would like to congratulate each and every member in every facet of Corrective Services for your effort, dedication and professionalism.
Today, I am particularly proud to lead your union in the promotion of the work you all undertake as well as continuing the fight for your safety and well-being in relation to improved workers compensation.
PSA General Secretary