Prisoner charged under new officer assault legislation

A prisoner from Borallon Training and Correctional Centre today became the first person charged with serious assault on a corrective services officer with the new circumstance of aggravation.

The charge relates to an incident on July 21 when the 20-year-old prisoner allegedly spat on a custodial correctional officer who was undertaking a cell search. The prisoner has received a Notice to Appear for October 14.

The new offence was passed by Parliament on on Thursday, 16 July as a part of the Corrective Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020, and assented to on July 21 by the Governor of Queensland, the same day the assault took place.

One amendment increased the maximum penalty for serious assault on a corrective services officer with aggravating circumstances, such as biting, spitting and throwing bodily materials into line with the penalties for assaulting a police officer and other front-line service officers.

Under the Criminal Code, the maximum penalty of 14 years now applies for anyone seriously assaulting a corrective services officer with aggravating circumstances.

Commissioner Peter Martin welcomed the charge.

“The new legislation recognises correctional officers as frontline public safety workers, in line with their peers in police and other emergency services.

“Our officers deserve to be able to go home safely at the end of their shift, without facing abhorrent behaviour such as spitting or having bodily materials thrown at them.

“They manage the most complex and difficult members of society to improve community safety and reduce crime by preventing recidivism, and deserve the same level of protection under the law as their colleagues in other frontline agencies.

“I thank the Corrective Service Investigations Unit for investigating this alleged assault and laying charges,” Commissioner Martin said.

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