Fears prison bans could incite unrest

UNION bans imposed at Fulham Correctional Centre have the potential to incite unrest among prisoners if the bans are allowed to continue, according to prison management.

Prison general manager Troy Ittensohn said the bans were irresponsible and if allowed to continue, had the ability to create unnecessary safety and security issues for staff and prisoners.

Yesterday, Community and Public Sector Union spokesman Andy Capp raised the possibility of a repeat of January’s riot, when inmates attacked officers and lit fires, if the industrial campaign ended without an increase in staffing levels.

Mr Ittensohn said the apparent unwillingness by the unions to bargain in good faith and the on-going periodic disruptions to normal prison routine are promoting prisoner unrest.

“We are disappointed that the union’s bans are not targeted at or affecting the company, but are specifically targeted at disadvantaging and disturbing the prisoners and their families,” he said.

“For Andy Capp and his union to talk prisoner riots only inflames the situation and we remain concerned at the union’s intent. The union cannot have it both ways, imposing bans that unfairly target prisoners and at the same time claim they are supporting safety in the centre.

“We have raised our concerns with Fairwork Australia and niotified the union that there is a real risk of prisoner reaction unless the bans are lifted.”

Mr Ittensohn said the situation was being carefully monitored with management and non-union staff currently managing the disruptions in work schedules caused by the union.