Contraband crisis in Australian prison as inmate wields knife, drugs in viral video

SYDNEY: A viral video of a prisoner brandishing a knife, along with what appears to be the drug ice has caused a stir on Monday, with prison officials in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) launched into crisis mode, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

The video was widely circulated late on Sunday, and shows the inmate demonstrating the use of a bladed weapon he calls a “slasher”, and was filmed on a phone the man claimed to have procured from prison guards at the privately run facility.

In the video, the man can be heard commentating throughout, and said that prisons in Australia are ruining lives.

“It is killing the young people, the young generation of this place is dead set terrorising,” he said.

“Why have I got a mobile phone? It’s because screws (prison guards) bring mobile phones into jail for money.”

Commissioner of Corrective Services NSW Peter Severin has stepped in to deal with the issue at the privatised jail, and told Xinhua on Monday that a specialised team will be sent in to deal with the breach of practices.

“It will be there to clearly provide me with the assurance that I need as Commissioner that this facility is operated safely, that any issues that resulted in the incident occurring are being addressed,” Severin said.

The prisons boss said that at the Parklea Correctional Centre – privately run by GEO Group – a new public sector Governor will be sent in to conduct a full and thorough review of the facility, while taking operational control over major decisions.

NSW Minister for Corrections and Counter Terrorism David Elliott said that his office would be conducting a review of the contract that it holds with GEO to run the Parklea facility.

“I was horrified when I saw the YouTube video and immediately called for an investigation,” Elliot said.

“I have asked Corrective Services NSW to review the contract to see what penalties could be imposed if there has been a failure by the operator.”

This is the latest in a long list of instances of contraband, and other incidents at the embattled remand facility.

In May, four milk cartons filled with phones, drugs and other illegal items were thrown over the fences of the facility before being intercepted by guards.

In February, a prisoner was stabbed in the neck by a fellow inmate and rushed to hospital, while in the same month it was revealed a former prison psychologist at the facility had married a known child rapist who she was treating during his time in the facility.

The viral video of the current incident is still up on YouTube, despite a request from the Commissioner to have it removed. – Bernama

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