AN inmate at the Fulham Correctional Centre is suing the jail’s operators over what he claims are illegal body searches being conducted on prisoners without consent.
The prisoner at the medium-to-minimum-security correctional facility near Sale, is seeking a restraining order prohibiting prison staff from doing “visual cavity searches” on him and other inmates.
His Supreme Court writ also seeks unspecified damages for what he describes as “gross humiliation, loss of self-esteem, psychological injury”.
He also claims he suffers from dysfunctional engagement with authority figures and other psychological injury because of the degrading searches, among his injuries.
The writ alleges the prison conducted hundreds of the searches unlawfully and without the consent of prisoners, which he alleges constitutes sexual assaults, and were made worse by “crude, foul, unnecessary and degrading language and gestures” from prison staff that were intended to further degrade or intimidate inmates.
He claims in the writ that prison staff forced prisoners to “manipulate their sexual organs in a degrading manner” and made them “assume positions which . . . mimics rape and domination or male persons”.
The prisoner claims the jail’s operator, the GEO Group Australia Pty Ltd, formerly known as Australasian Correctional Management, breached its duty of care not to sexually abuse or indecently assault him or other prisoners.
The jail’s operators also had a duty not to unduly humiliate, degrade or abuse him or conduct intrusive searches without proper cause, justification or operational necessity, he claims.
He is seeking a jury trial and damages for not only himself, but also other prisoners based on the number of searches each prisoner was subjected to.
The prison’s operator is yet to lodge its defence with the court.