Second prison riot in as many days

 

DOZENS of inmates, some armed with weapons, have trashed a prison unit in central Queensland in the state's second jailhouse riot in as many days.

Prison officers at Capricornia Correctional Centre, near Rockhampton, said 31 prisoners were involved in the "code black" incident, which started when eight inmates began protesting about lunchtime on Saturday.

Refusing to obey directions from officers, the men damaged cell doors while covering CCTV cameras.

Some were armed with makeshift weapons including broomsticks and mop buckets, The Courier-Mail has been told.

The riot occurred in a secure unit that houses 41 prisoners.

The situation was defused by specialist officers, including the dog unit, after a couple of hours, and all inmates were contained to their cells.

Officers said the unit was trashed but no force was used and no staff were injured.

The outbreak of violences comes a day after prisoners caused chaos at Borallon jail which saw inmates stomping on each others heads.

Queensland Corrective Services praised Capricornia officers today for how they managed the riot.

"Incidents such as these can place our staff at risk. We train our officers in de-escalation and negotiation skills, and today's protest is an excellent example of how our officers manage some of the most challenging and complex people in society to keep our prisons safe and secure," Acting Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner James Koulouris said.

"I'd like to congratulate all of the officers involved in today's incident.

"They showed professionalism and judgement to negotiate a safe and peaceful outcome to what was a very tense situation."

Visits at the prison were cancelled during the incident, and the unit will be operated as a detention unit until the prisoners actively involved in the protest can be transferred.

Meanwhile, prison officers say they used capsicum spray on fighting prisoners at Borallon jail yesterday.

Officers originally told The Courier-Mail the incident was deemed a "Code Black" or riot, at the jail.

But Queensland Corrective Services have since said it was actually deemed a "Code Yellow" for prisoners fighting.

The Courier-Mail has been told capsicum spray and "chemical agents" were used on prisoners, who officers say were stomping on each other's heads.

Officers say while it wasn't called a "code black", there were was more than three prisoners fighting so should have been deemed the more serious code.

The incident happened yesterday afternoon and the jail was locked down for a debrief.

It's understood two staff had minor injuries after the incident.

Staff within the centre have discussed the incident online, with varying accounts of how many prisoners were involved.

A Queensland Corrective Services spokeswoman confirmed a "Code Yellow" was called when two prisoners began fighting in a walkway and three others joined in.

"Officers, including Delta Unit officers responded to the fight, and in line with our procedures, chemical agents were deployed to control the situation," she said.

"The five prisoners were decontaminated, interviewed by staff and placed on safety orders.

"Three officers received minor injuries while responding to the incident. These did not occur while restraining the prisoners. All officers were offered medical support and a debriefing occurred."

A 'Code Silver' lockdown was triggered at Borallon in July when a prisoner climbed up on to the roof and remained there for 18 hours.

Just a day earlier, Arthur Gorrie remand centre had been placed into lockdown following a 'Code Black" riot that caused $1 million in damage.

That riot was triggered after prisoners were told to pack up their cells and move.

About six prisoners retaliated and began trashing equipment at the jail, including televisions and windows, according to officer accounts.

While in May, parts of the Capricornia Correctional Centre were placed into lockdown following a mass overdose that sent six prisoners to hospital.

A large-scale investigation was launched to discover just how illicit substances were brought into the ­central Queensland prison.



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