Pris­on­ers face jail riot charges

The West Australian - - NEWS - Gary Ad­shead

De­tec­tives have laid charges against 24 peo­ple in re­la­tion to the Gree­nough Re­gional Prison riot and mass break­out.

The July cri­sis re­sulted in more than $2 mil­lion dam­age and prompted an in­quiry into how male pris­on­ers were able to use an­gle grinders to cut their way through fences and en­ter the fe­male wing of the prison.

Un­der sec­tion 67 of the Crim­i­nal Code, the 24 pris­on­ers will face charges of ri­ot­ing caus­ing dam­age and could face a max­i­mum of 14 years jail.

All 10 of the pris­on­ers who es­caped were caught within 48 hours af­ter teams of po­lice were de­ployed to the Mid West.

Most of those charged are male pris­on­ers aged be­tween 18 and 35. One woman has also been charged.

“The ma­jor crime di­vi­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion fo­cused on crim­i­nal be­hav­iour dur­ing the riot,” a po­lice state­ment said.

“All 24 per­sons have been sum­moned to ap­pear in the Perth Mag­is­trate’s Court on 30 Oc­to­ber, 2018.”

In­for­ma­tion re­leased in Par­lia­ment last month re­vealed that some units of the prison had been un­der lock­down for many hours in the days lead­ing up to the riot.

The lock­down fig­ures show that five units were un­der strict con­fine­ment in the hours be­fore the riot.

In the days af­ter the Gree­nough in­ci­dent, Cor­rec­tive Ser­vices Com­mis­sioner Tony Has­sall said there had been “adap­tive regimes in place” at Gree­nough be­fore the ri­ots.

The De­part­ment of Jus­tice said in a state­ment last month that lock­downs were a func­tion of avail­able staffing lev­els on any par­tic­u­lar day and should not ex­cuse the de­struc­tion of prop­erty.

It has also been re­vealed that women were of­fered the morn­ing-af­ter pill fol­low­ing the ri­ots.

Dur­ing the vi­o­lent up­heaval, a fe­male pris­oner used an of­fice phone in the women’s sec­tion to con­tact Seven News as male in­mates, armed with an­gle grinders and other tools, forced their way in.

“Some of the girls are scared be­cause you’ve got a whole bunch of ag­gro men run­ning around,” she said.

“They climbed on to the roof and made their way into the girls’ unit and smashed all the win­dows and ev­ery­thing. They’re try­ing to throw bricks through win­dows and light­ing all the couches on fire.”

A male pris­oner came on the phone and said he had bro­ken into the women’s block to pro­tect some of the in­mates.

Gree­nough prison riot dam­age.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.