Today, we met with Commissioner Severin and other managers regarding the recent incidents across Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW).
The issues discussed at this meeting pertained to the letter that PSA/POVB wrote to CSNSW after the recent hostage situation at MNCC and the recent medical escort issues.
Mr Severin stated we currently have several committees to address the issues that we have raised. These committees are:
- the Firearms and Tactical Meeting;
- the Medical Escort Committee; and
- the delegation sent to MNCC after the incident.
We were informed there will be an overarching governance of these committees, which will meet to compile the information together and to work on implementing the solutions and recommendations that are raised. There will be PSA/POVB representation in the overarching governance committee to raise and address the issues and concerns from PSA/POVB members.
The issues will be broken up into three groups:
General inmate management Looking at policies and procedures. This will include our concerns regarding the implementation of the segregation policy and the revocation of segregation of inmates and behavioural and management plans for inmates.
Restraints/firearms At present there is no requirement for reaccreditation of firearms. CSNSW is in agreement that this needs to be formalised and there needs to be a set standard of best practice with regular training and reaccreditation.
The Medical Escort Committee is meeting weekly and we have several centre, MEU and CESU representatives attending this forum looking into Personal Protection Equipment, restraints and training.
We will communicate information after each meeting.
Training and Leadership AC Corcoran is going through every comment from the People Matter Survey and is compiling the issues to gather relevant information.
Once this has been completed, he will be attending centres with Directors to address their issues and will be meeting with all groups individually. Because the People Matter Survey is anonymous, AC Corcoran is unaware what issues are specific to each centre, so will be seeking feedback as he goes.
CSNSW recognised that LMS training is one part of training but there needs to be a face-to-face component to training.
The State Operations Group will be assisting with scenario training. However, centres will also do scenario training specific to their needs.
The Executive raised that training needs to be relevant. An example given by the Executive was that LMS may give you advice on how to deal with contraband finds but staff require face-to-face training on how to carry it out practically.
We raised that there seem to be a disconnect in centres between custodial and overseers and there is a lack of communication in general.
Motion – Restraining Belts and DTM
The motion on restraining belts was discussed. The Commissioner stated he is not against the use of restraining belts. He did say that not all inmates will be able to have restraining belts placed on them due to the medical issue they are being treated for.
We highlighted the need for restraints especially when escorting an inmate from a car park that is not secured and is used by the general public.
The Commissioner stated he wants risk assessments completed by managers and OICs with a “conservative approach” regarding restraints, meaning there is a preference towards using them unless there is a reason not to. There will be memorandum to this effect put out by AC Corcoran and managers will be asked to distribute it to all relevant staff. Any staff member acting into a senior role should be made aware of this memorandum.
It was also raised that the COPP may need to be changed to better reflect restraining belts for A, B, Cat 4, Cat 3 and E classification inmates, as it only reflects the need for them for EHS and high risk inmates. The medical escort committee will address this issue in that forum.
If a sub-branch has any issues or concerns with an escort and the use of restraints and you cannot get a resolution locally, contact a member of the State Executive and we will liaise with Directors to resolve the concern.
CSNSW is working on dates for the DTM with the Minister. There are several factors that are complicating this. These being the Commissioner is on leave, the Minister and the Commissioner have budget estimate hearing dates and parliament is sitting for the month of March. We hope to have a date in the coming days.
We did note with CSNSW the importance of the meeting and the need to get a date to alleviate concerns around the state that it may not take place.
Once we have a date, we will ask delegates to inform the Executive who will be attending. If delegates cannot attend due to their location, they can still attend via Zoom.
We will also be asking delegates to furnish to the Executive the top five concerns from their location or centre, with examples and ideas on how to address those concerns. From these concerns an agenda will be developed.
Nicole Jess Chairperson
0427 609 199
Jason Charlton Vice Chairperson
0401 500 976
Amanda Cotter Secretary
0404 042 600
Thor Sutherland Assistant Secretary
0447 633 476
Darren King Country Vice Chair
0407 935 039
Natalie Howes Country Vice Chair
0407 011 441
Clinton Lamb Vice Chair Overseer
0400 709 144
David McCauley POVB Industrial Officer
0419 022 767
David Bartle POVB Industrial Officer
0418 425 976
Trish O’Brien Welfare Officer
0412 120 391