Vi­o­lent prison at­tacks leave of­fi­cers hurt

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - LINDA SILMALIS

A PRISON of­fi­cer was left with a bro­ken jaw and an­other with a black eye in two sep­a­rate vi­o­lent at­tacks at an over­crowded Syd­ney jail.

The as­saults at the max­i­mum se­cu­rity Met­ro­pol­i­tan Re­mand and Re­cep­tion Cen­tre have trig­gered calls for the state gov­ern­ment to drop pro­posed job cuts.

Staffing in jails across the state is be­ing re­viewed as part of a “bench­mark­ing” pro­gram, with up to 300 jobs to be cut.

The NSW Public Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion has been locked in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the gov­ern­ment in a bid to stop the cuts.

PSA se­nior vice-pres­i­dent Ni­cole Jess said cut­ting jobs would fur­ther put of­fi­cer lives at risk.

“We are al­ready see­ing a rise in as­saults — the last thing we need is a cen­tre of that size where in­mates come in off the street have cuts to staff,” she said.

State op­po­si­tion jus­tice spokesman Guy Zan­gari called on the gov­ern­ment to cease the bench­mark­ing process un­til prisoner num­bers were un­der con­trol.

“Now is not the time to be cut staffing lev­els in the grip of an out of con­trol prison pop­u­la­tion,” he said.

“Prison se­cu­rity is crit­i­cal to not only staff and in­mates at facilities but also to the wider com­mu­nity.”

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