media release

South Australia's prison crisis depeens

Today’s prison officers’ vote of no confidence in the Corrections CEO David Brown is in reality a vote of no confidence in Corrections Minister Tony Piccolo and the Weatherill Government.

"The crisis in our prison system can be traced back to 2009 when the Labor Government cancelled the construction of a new prison," said State Liberal Leader in the Legislative Council David Ridgway.

"From the moment the Labor Government abandoned its plan to build a new prison South Australia was always heading towards a capacity crisis.

"To add insult to injury, the cancellation of the new prison cost South Australia $10 million in compensation.

"The Weatherill Labor Government has racked, packed and stacked until it can rack, pack and stack no more and we are now in crisis.

"The Weatherill Government’s mishandling of the prison system is putting prison officers at increased risk.

"Inexcusably the situation is only going to get worse and due to the Weatherill Government’s woeful budget management there is very little room to maneuver.

"The Weatherill Government’s plans to cut at least 50 FTE staff from the prison system as a result of its Budget cuts will only exacerbate the problems.

"In Budget Estimates Minister Piccolo revealed that average daily prison numbers are set to outstrip capacity within two years.

"Police Cells that are supposed to be used for surge capacity are now being used to hold prisoners nearly every day of the year.

"Minister Piccolo needs to explain how he is going to deal with the crisis the Weatherill Labor Government has created."

news mediarelease