Lockdown Stands After ‘Dangerous’ Rockhampton Prison Riot Ends
ABC News/Jonathan Hair
A 16 hour-siege at Capricornia Correctional Centre has been condemned as “simply disgraceful” and “unacceptable”.
The prison unrest started on Thursday at 10am with property being damaged, threats unleashed, and a code silver declared, before dozens of detainees took to the roof in a “dangerous” protest, Queensland Correctional Services has confirmed.
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The situation escalated quickly with additional prison staff, emergency response teams and police dogs called to the Etna Creek prison, in a desperate bid to take back control.
Although it remains unclear what led to the protest, there have been issues raised with the union since 2020 about overcrowding.
A statement by Corrective Services said that Deputy Commissioner Custodial Operations Gary McCahon will be on site today debriefing officers, while an Investigation Unit will work with police "for consideration of criminal charges for prisoners who participated in the riot and caused property damage".
Deputy Commissioner McCahon has called the behaviour of prisoners "disgraceful".
"The wanton destruction of property and the risks to our officers and other prisoners was totally unacceptable behaviour," he said.
"Prisoners who participated will face consideration of additional criminal charges as well as internal discipline for their actions".
Corrective Services confirmed the last protestors involved in the antics surrendered around 2:30am after hours of riots, vandalism, fire lit, and threats to other inmates, and by 6am on Friday all prisoners involved were back behind bars.
Mr McCahon praised all those who assisted in managing the incident, including Queensland Police Service, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Health.
"Our officers and our public safety partners faced a very dangerous situation yesterday, and everyone did a remarkable job to resolve the situation," Deputy Commissioner McCahon reported.
With a scope of about 500 high and low security inmates, the Rockhampton prison is currently at 92.7 per cent capacity with 703 prisoners.
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