FULHAM Correctional Centre spent the day in lockdown on Wednesday following a brawl in which nine correctional staff were injured.
The incident was allegedly started by two brothers who were refused bereavement leave and an escort to attend the funeral of a loved one.
The men sought out the prison’s operations manager who was in the prison’s central meeting space, known to prisoners and staff as the ‘Plaza’, just after 10am to discuss the decision, the men allegedly leading him to a more secluded area.
Becoming agitated when their request was denied, they attacked the prison employee.
When prison staff responded to the incident, rushing to the man’s rescue, about seven or eight fellow prisoners allegedly joined the brawl, lashing out at corrections staff.
The brawl lasted about 20 minutes.
Seven staff members were taken to Central Gippsland Health Service, Sale, some with serious injuries, including one officer with a suspected perforated eardrum and another with a deep gash to the head.
One staff member was taken by ambulance; the others by car.
Other staff were treated on site.
Community and Public Sector Union Victoria industrial officer Andrew Capp said a number of the injured staff received serious blows to the head and upper torso.
No prisoners appear to be injured.
The two instigating prisoners have been transferred to another prison facility as police work with corrections staff to identify the other prisoners involved as part of their investigations.
Fulham Correctional Centre spokesman Ken Davis said the incident was handled professionally by prison staff and management.
Mr Capp prison staff should have met with the prisoners in a secure area, taking all relevant precautions, especially given the heavy emotional nature of the subject.
For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.