Port Augusta Prison siege October 14

PRISON: Images supplied by Corrections authorities show the damage to the gymnasium and education centre at the Port Augusta Prison.

PRISON: Images supplied by Corrections authorities show the damage to the gymnasium and education centre at the Port Augusta Prison.

At approximately 3.15pm on Friday October 14, 17 prisoners barricaded themselves into a gym at Port Augusta Prison.

The incident is believed to come from prisoners demanding water, food and cigarettes.

A Department for Correctional Services (DCS) Spokesperson said the incident was contained within the prison.

The prison was in lock down mode and police arrived on site to assess the incident.

Late Friday night DCS A/Chief Executive Jackie Bray provided the following statement.

“I can advise that on Friday 14th October at approximately 3.15pm there was an incident at Port Augusta Prison,” she said

“...A number of prisoners barricaded themselves inside a gymnasium and education area within the high security part of the prison. 

“The incident was contained within the gymnasium area of the secure custody zone, and the rest of the prison was locked down as a security measure.”

She said shortly before 10.30pm the incident was peacefully resolved.

A total of 17 prisoners were removed from the gymnasium to secure cells within the facility.

She reported that at no point in time was there any risk to community safety or any other part of the prison and DCS were in control of the incident from the commencement, with the support of SAPOL.

During the course of the incident prisoners caused damage to a table tennis table, classroom tables and chairs.

The incident was brought under control without the use of physical force. 

Ms Bray commended thanked the staff involved and thanked police for assistance and quick response.

“I commend the staff of Port Augusta Prison for their skilled and professional conduct in resolving this matter in a safe and secure way,” she said.

On Saturday October 15 DCS Chief Executive David Brown said the incident wasn’t due to overcrowding and believed not all 17 prisoners were involved in the barricading.

He believed the prisoners were a mix of serious offenders and others and dismissed claims DCS is in crisis.

“Unless you’re going to leave prisoners in cells 24 hours a day without opportunities to associate, you are going to have situations that turn violent and escalate,” he said.

One prisoner sustained an injury to the head, believe to be from an altercation with another prisoner.

Serious damage was made to the prison and Mr Brown expects criminal charges to be made.

The incident is now the subject of a DCS and police investigation.

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