PSA breaks out on prisons
PS News online – 11 February 2015
The Public Service Association (PSA) says the State’s prison system is “in crisis” due to a failure to plan for the future.
General Secretary of the PSA, Anne Gardiner said there were 11,020 inmates in a system with 10,800 beds.
Further, three prisons had been closed and another downgraded at time “when the population in NSW is increasing, there is an ice epidemic and the State is about to see the impact of new bail laws”, Ms Gardiner said.
“The NSW prison system is in crisis. The overflow of prisoners are currently being housed in Court cells throughout the State creating a new set of problems,” she said.
Overcrowding a risk to staff
“Last week in an attempt to deflect from the State Government’s breathtaking mismanagement of the situation, Attorney General Brad Hazzard was quoted as saying that prisoners ‘doubling up’ was fine adding that crooks should be ‘doing it tough’ in prisons.”
Ms Gardiner said the Government had slashed the workers compensation protections for her members who work in prisons.
“Now Mr Hazzard the Minister responsible for the safety of prison staff thinks it’s OK to create an overcrowding situation which can only lead to an increase of prison staff being assaulted,” she said.
“The Public Service Association and our members have been working into the night with the Department to try and address this overcrowding crisis of the Government’s making. To hear this ill-informed and gratuitous comment from Mr Hazzard is like a kick in the guts.”
Ms Gardiner said it was time the NSW Government stopped shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.
”They need to acknowledge their mistakes and release the funding needed to reopen and upgrade the States’ prisons and to properly compensate our members when they are injured protecting the people of NSW,” she said.