Parliamentary committee to examine prison system


The State Liberals will move the establish a Parliamentary Committee to investigate South Australia’s trouble-plagued prison system.

“Corrections has become a rolling catastrophe since rookie MP Peter Malinauskas was elevated to the role of Minister and we need to find out why it has gone so far off the rails,” said Shadow Minister for Correctional Services Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“The Committee will examine how chaotic Weatherill Government planning has contributed to the crisis in the state’s corrections system.

“The fact South Australia’s prisons are bursting at the seams is clearly a contributing factor and will be a critical area of investigation.

“South Australia’s prisons continuously hold prisoners in excess of approved capacity and are expected to do so until at least 2018.

“Overcrowded prisons lead to heightened tensions and pose increased dangers for prison officers and prisoners alike.”

The Committee will also assess specific incidents most likely including:

  • The recent siege at Port Augusta prison where 17 inmates barricaded themselves into the prison gym during a seven-hour siege;
  • The escape of a convicted murderer from Northfield Women’s prison;
  • The tragic death of a prisoner in a violent interaction with prison staff at Yatala;
  • An attempted escape at the Port Augusta prison where two prisoners dug under a wall, entered a restricted area and attempted to drive a truck through the outer perimeter of the prison;
  • A convicted murderer and rapist being permitted to umpire an amateur football match;
  • A prisoner who was given day release to attend a funeral was then prevented from re-entering Yatala upon presenting himself: and
  • The use of alfoil by prisoners on home detention to mask their home detention monitoring devices.