Prisoners face jail riot charges
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.