Dangerous criminals
Dangerous criminals

LEAKED REPORT: Bullying, poor training, nepotism in prisons

THE state's prison system suffers from a serious staff bullying problem, rampant nepotism, poor training, skyrocketing overtime and a shocking rate of worker injury claims, a leaked report says.

The Custodial Inspector has found opportunities for prisoner rehabilitation are non-existent, almost half of the state's prison service staff lodged workers' compensation claims in a two-year period, and the organisation continues to err when working out how long prisoners should be locked up.


Risdon Prison. Picture: ZAK SIMMONDS
Risdon Prison. Picture: ZAK SIMMONDS


The draft Resources and Systems Inspection report ­reveals serious shortcomings in personnel management, ­record keeping, communication and rostering, as well as poor staff morale.

Custodial Inspector Richard Connock has made 64 recommendations to fix the mess, noting that many of his recommendations from previous years have not been carried out.

He noted 334 prison lockdowns in a single month, 79 per cent of which were due to staff shortages.

The report found the Tasmania Prison Service had "an excessive number of workers' compensation claims" with 226 claims by 489 staff in the 24 months to June 30 last year.

But he said those who were injured were often victimised by management.

"Many TPS staff who were interviewed advised they had personally experienced workplace bullying in the last 12 months," it said.

"Of some concern, much of this bullying was reported as being perpetrated by a senior manager or immediate supervisor."

Recruitment was a major problem, with trouble finding good staff and shoddy human resources management.

"There is a sense from staff of nepotism and bias in the TPS in relation to opportunities for recruitment and ­advancement," it said.

"Particular concerns were raised about family members of existing staff being appointed to TPS positions."

Community and Public Sector Union state secretary Tom Lynch said the state government was clearly not properly funding its "hairy-chested law and order agenda".


Tom Lynch. Picture: ZAK SIMMONDS
Tom Lynch. Picture: ZAK SIMMONDS


"We're failing at every step: we're failing the inmates, we're failing the staff and we're failing the community," he said.

"It's shocking when you read it all together - but I haven't learned anything new because there are issues we have raised and have been raised in other reports.

"The shocking thing is that it's getting worse."

A government spokesman said the report was a draft and had not been "formally submitted".

"The Department of Justice works with the Custodial ­Inspector to address any issues raised in inspection reports ­before the reports are formally submitted to the government," the spokesman said.






Originally published as LEAKED REPORT: Bullying, poor training, nepotism