Prison dam­age in roof protest

The Weekend Post - - News - AN­DREA FALVO AND ALI­CIA NALLY edi­to­rial@cairn­ face­­sPost www.cairn­ twit­­sPost

LO­TUS Glen Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre has been placed in lock­down for the sec­ond time in al­most as many weeks af­ter six pris­on­ers climbed on to the roof caus­ing thou­sands of dol­lars of dam­age to the fa­cil­ity.

It is be­lieved the pris­on­ers may have gained ac­cess to the roof through the kitchen, and ex­tra staff have re­port­edly been called in from Townsville to as­sist with the in­ci­dent.

A Queens­land Cor­rec­tive Ser­vices spokesman said there were no in­juries.

“About 11.30am (yes­ter­day), six pris­on­ers gained ac­cess to a rooftop at the Lo­tus Glen Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre near Mareeba,” he said.

“Staff are man­ag­ing the sit­u­a­tion in ac­cor­dance with stan­dard re­sponse pro­ce­dures.

“Once re­solved, the in­ci­dent will be re­ferred to the Queens­land Cor­rec­tive Ser­vices In­ves­ti­ga­tion Unit, which is staffed by the Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice.”

A staff mem­ber, who would not be named, said the six in­mates got on to the roof and started caus­ing dam­age.

“They have smashed up the se­cu­rity cam­eras, they have caused thou­sands of dol­lars worth of dam­age.”

The em­ployee said one of the pris­on­ers got caught in the ra­zor wire.

“Ex­tra staff have had to be brought in from Townsville.”

It is be­lieved that visi­ta­tion rights have been can­celled for the week­end as a re­sult of the lock­down.

Ber­nadette Kelso said she re­ceived a call about 5pm yes­ter­day no­ti­fy­ing her she could not visit her part­ner, an in­mate at Lo­tus Glen, over the week­end.

She was due to visit her part­ner and trans­fer cash to him via the prison’s in-house sys­tem.

“It’s heart­break­ing,” she said.

“We’ve been in court all week and some­times it’s harder for the peo­ple on the out­side than the ones on the in­side.

“You so look for­ward to see­ing them; it’s tough.

“I have to travel for three hours to get there so a lot of plan­ning goes into these vis­its.”

Yes­ter­day’s in­ci­dent fol­lows another break­out, where four pris­on­ers climbed up on to the jail’s roof late month, plac­ing Lo­tus Glen Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre in lock­down for at least 24 hours.

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