Violent prison attacks leave officers hurt
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.”