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Prison drug probe

by
May 16, 2018

Allegations of drug trafficking within Dhurringile Prison are being investigated by the state’s anti-corruption watchdog.

Allegations of drug trafficking within Dhurringile Prison are being investigated by the state’s anti-corruption watchdog.

An Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) spokesperson confirmed the matter involved a female prison officer.

A Dhurringile prison officer resigned in February after a series of misconduct allegations were raised, Correction Victoria confirmed.

‘‘Corrections Victoria expects all our staff to uphold the highest levels of professionalism and ethics,’’ a spokesperson said.

‘‘We take allegations of misconduct extremely seriously and are assisting the IBAC investigation.’’

Corrections Minister Gayle Tierney said she was aware of the investigation but refused to answer questions.

‘‘As the investigation is ongoing it would be inappropriate to provide further comment,’’ she wrote in a statement.

Shadow Corrections Minister Edward O’Donohue said the prison system had been ‘‘in crisis’’ under Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and ‘‘the crisis continues’’.

‘‘This is a really serious matter and the Opposition will await the results of the investigation,’’ he said. ‘‘It raises questions about the operation of the prison system under the current government.’’

In parliament this week, Mr O’Donohue also referred to ‘‘other allegations of serious misconduct’’.

Questions about the protocols and procedures at Dhurringile Prison have been raised in past years, following a number of escapes and rumours about disgruntled staff.

In January, Colin Thompson was appointed as the new general manager at the prison.

Dhurringile Community Action Group chairman Frank Niglia said the resignation of the staff member was a ‘‘sad situation’’.

‘‘That’s disturbing to hear. They’re supposed to be there to look after the prisoners,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s disappointing if it’s coming in from the staff, from someone who’s there to look after the prisoners and rehabilitate them.’’

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