The Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation has been convicted and fined $300,000 for putting staff at risk in the lead-up to a riot at the Melbourne Remand Centre in 2015.
Corrections Victoria, which is part of the Department of Justice and Regulation, pleaded guilty today in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court to one charge of failing to provide and maintain systems of work, which were safe and without risks to health and were ordered to pay costs of $14,215.
The court heard that Corrections Victoria was aware of prisoner unrest at the Ravenhall facility in the weeks leading up to a smoking ban coming into effect in Victorian prisons on July 1, 2015.
However, according to reports they did not arrange to have additional specialist staff from the Security Emergency Services Group available for deployment to quickly quell any disturbance.
As a result, the court heard that in the days leading up to the riot, prison staff was left exposed to the risks of physical injury and psychological harm.
A full-scale riot involving approximately 400 prisoners broke out at the facility just before noon on June 30 when the fences separating exercise yards were breached with prison staff being evacuated and police brought in. The facility was secured about 3am the following morning.
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