Three prison officers assaulted at Casuarina today

Three prison officers were assaulted at Casuarina Prison today while escorting a prisoner from his cell to make his daily telephone call.

The unprovoked attack has resulted in the officers being sent to hospital for immediate medical attention.

WA Prison Officers’ Union Secretary John Welch said the prisoner, who was in protection after recently king-hitting another prisoner, was being escorted to make a telephone call when he punched one of the escorting officers in the mouth, causing serious lacerations and possible although not yet confirmed damage to his teeth.

“The other two officers who were also escorting the prisoner sought to restrain the prisoner only for both to be assaulted.

“One officer received injuries to his eye, ear and knee while the other received an injury to his back.

Mr Welch said the latest attacks occurred almost three months after the union had first approached the Barnett Government to sit down to discuss the ongoing concerns of prison officers about their pay and conditions and the dangerous risks they face at work.

“Prison Officers face constant risk helping keep the community safe yet the Barnett Government has for months refused to meet with us to discuss our concerns. It was only in the last fortnight that they’ve agreed to meet with us on December 11.

“With 13 of WA’s 15 prisons overcrowded Prison Officers are calling for proper staffing levels, new prison facilities to deal with the chronic overcrowding and better pay and conditions.

“The Barnett Government must start recognising the dangerous job that these men and women do and it’s about time they started fixing the crisis in the State’s prison system,” said Mr Welch.

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