Jail’s bizarre ‘show bag’ offering to rioting prisoners
Prisoners have been given junk food, chips and soft drink after rioting and trashing Arthur Gorrie jail, in what officers have dubbed "show bags" for criminals.
Cells were trashed and flooded, fires were lit after Queensland Corrective Services put the jail into a stage 4 lockdown which restricted restricting prisoners to their cells.
More than 2000 of the packs for prisoners have since been filled by corrective services staff.
It follows unrest at the jail amid the lockdown which was sparked after two officers who attended the prison academy worked shifts at the jail and later tested positive to COVID-19.
The jail remains in lockdown however authorities appear to have contained any potential coronavirus outbreak.
Prison officers told The Sunday Mail they were shocked at the move to give prisoners the packs but prison bosses have defended the incentive during the unprecedented lockdown and say it was just an interim measure.
"It's rewarding bad behaviour," an officer said.
Another officer said: "The staff are calling them the 'show bags'. "
"Packs went over from Women's and Wolston to appease the inmates and inside were chocolates, chips and soft drinks," they said.
Pictures of the officers filling the bags were sent out in a corrective services newsletter this week stating officers made the food packs to "help restore good order" at the jail because it remained in lockdown to ensure safety of prisoners and staff.
"Wolston's Acting General Manager, Chief Superintendent Joel Smith said providing the packages would help mitigate disturbance as a result of the lockdown," the newsletter said.
"So far, the Wolston team have put together 2,200 packs for prisoners and await further produce to continue this work to support their colleagues," Chief Supt Smith is quoted as saying.
"Our officers are responsible for creating the conditions for a safe and secure correctional environment that holds prisoners accountable for their actions, while fostering rehabilitative outcomes."
A number of questions in relation to the "good order" bags were raised with corrective services, including the cost to taxpayers and whether it was an appropriate measure.
A Queensland Corrective Services spokeswoman said the lockdown and quarantine measures forced the interruption of normal prison routines.
"Prisoners were given a small package of food as an interim measure, until the usual buy-up arrangements resumed," she said.
Originally published as Jail's bizarre 'show bag' offering to rioting prisoners