Brutal assault puts prison in lockdown
ANOTHER brutal prison assault has forced the Townsville Correctional Centre into lockdown.
One officer suffered a sickening gash to his head when a "number of prisoners" confronted guards at noon on Monday.
Three officers were assaulted.
It's understood two male officers received head, arm and hand injuries and they were taken to hospital for treatment.
A third officer received an injury while responding to the incident.
The ordeal follows coutless assaults on officers this year, including at least three in the state's southeast this month.
Officers say the attacks on staff are becoming more prominent due to "weak" sentences being handed down to inmates who attack guards.
"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," a Corrective Services statement said.
"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 will visit the prison to meet staff and the leadership group, the department said.
Corrective Services Investigation Unit has been informed of the incident and will undertake the investigation into the incident.
Together Union Townsville Norm Jacobsen said: "It's very frustrating and it's high time the government took the levels of assaults seriously."
"We expect that there should be some immediate action to address the amount of serious assaults on staff."
Mr Jacobsen said the men's facility was in lockdown until this morning.
In a statement, QCS said officers interacted 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," the statement said.
"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."
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.