Officers injured – Townsville Correctional Centre

Queensland Corrective Services can confirm that two officers were injured during a confrontation with a number of prisoners at about 12 noon today at Townsville Correctional Centre.

It is believed the two male officers received head, arm and hand injuries. They were assessed and transported to Townsville Hospital by QAS. It is believed that a third officer received an injury while responding to the incident.

Initial information indicates that the officers challenged a prisoner who appeared to be behaving suspiciously in an exercise yard in a secure unit when the incident happened.

It will be alleged that four prisoners were involved in the incident, and initial information indicates implements were used against the officers.

Chemical agents were used to subdue the prisoners, and the centre is in lockdown, with all prisoners secured and compliant.

Officers involved undertook a hot debrief after the incident, and a further debrief for all prison staff will be held at the end of shift.

Deputy Commissioner Custodial Operations Andy Beck is in Townsville tomorrow, and will visit  the prison to meet staff and the leadership group.

CSIU has been informed of the incident and will undertake the investigation into the incident.

Prisoners who assault officers may face additional criminal charges and further prison time. They are also subject to internal disciplinary processes, including loss of privileges.

Every day our officers interact with the most challenging and complex people in our society.

Unfortunately from time to time our officers are required to put themselves in harm’s way to ensure the safety and security of the community. We are thankful for their commitment, and for the important role they play in making Queensland safer for all of us.

Officer safety is Queensland Corrective Services’ absolute priority. Every officer deserves to go home safely at the end of shift.

We take our responsibility as an employer to support our officers through appropriate training and provision of equipment, technology, and policy support very seriously, but recognise that we cannot remove all risk from the workplace due to the dynamic nature of correctional environments.

People who have been removed from society for violent or anti-social behaviour sometimes display that same behaviour in a prison environment, despite the best efforts of our officers to de-escalate situations.

When an officer is injured on duty, QCS is committed to supporting the officer and their family while they recover.

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