Prison of­fi­cer stood down

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - RYAN TENNISON

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.

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