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Prisoners charged over code black

The first charges have been laid in response to the Code Black at Capricornia Correctional Centre in October last year.

Some 45 prisoners were charged this week with one count of riot and given notice to appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court as a result of their alleged conduct during the unrest which caused significant damage to parts of the centre.

The arrests are the first in the joint Queensland Police Service—Queensland Corrective Services State-wide Operation Tango Roadtrain.

General Manager of Capricornia Correctional Centre, Chief Superintendent Richard Butcher, commended the officers who worked on the joint operation to hold the responsible prisoners accountable for their destructive and dangerous behaviour.

“The safety and security of the correctional centre is the absolute priority and these charges show there are serious consequences for prisoners whose actions represent a serious threat to the safety of our staff and other prisoners.

“The investigating officers have done a remarkable job to identify so many of those individuals allegedly responsible for the dangerous behaviour in October last year.

“Those found guilty of participating in the unrest face up to a maximum of 14 years in prison.

“Additionally, Queensland Corrective Services will be pursuing those found guilty to pay restitution for the damage caused.”

Acting Detective Inspector Anthony Buxton said the joint investigation included interviewing in excess of 200 prisoners and obtaining more than 100 statements from correctional officers and witnesses, as well as cataloguing more than 2,300 still images and hundreds of hours of CCTV vision.

“This has been a significant criminal investigation, and it is a real milestone to be laying the first charges here at Capricornia Correctional Centre this week.  Further charges are expected in coming days and weeks.

Operation Tango Roadtrain has seen a close collaboration between officers from QPS Crime and Intelligence Command, including Corrective Services Investigation Unit, Rockhampton CIB and QCS, and I am very proud of the work they have done to wrap up such an extensive investigation,” Acting Inspector Buxton said.

Capricornia Correctional Centre is fully operational with all damage repaired apart from one officer’s station in the residential area of the prison. The internal investigations into the Code Black continue.