Prison officer stood down
A SENIOR prison officer has been stood down over sexual harassment allegations at an Ararat jail.
The supervisor is accused of sexually harassing up to four female officers at the mediumsecurity Hopkins Correctional Centre.
It is understood one female officer filed a 10-page report about what allegedly occurred.
Corrections Victoria spokeswoman Courtney Crane told the Sunday Herald Sun: “A staff member at Hopkins Correctional Centre has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged misconduct.”
“Corrections Victoria expects all staff to uphold the highest levels of professionalism, and to act appropriately and respectfully at all times,” Ms Crane said.
“When they fail to meet these standards, they are investigated and face strict sanctions.”
A prison union delegate is believed to be overseeing the case, which may also include male witnesses.
A former colleague told the Sunday Herald Sun the accused officer had a poor reputation among his female co-workers.
The officer — on a salary of more than $100,000 a year — is still being paid despite being stood down.
The prison officer’s work agreement doesn’t allow Corrections Victoria to strip a guard of pay while under investigation. Some staff inside the prison have voiced their concern about continued payments in such cases.
The incident reportedly occurred about six months ago. The investigation is continuing.
Only this week the state government announced a drive to recruit more female prison officers.