Serious attack on prison officers at Casuarina

Monday 28 Feb 2022

The WA Prison Officers’ Union (WAPOU) is calling for the government to respect the risk prison officers face after a prisoner at Casuarina assaulted three prison officers in less than a week.

One male prison officer suffered a broken nose, a badly cut face and loose teeth after being punched in the face at midday on Tuesday.

His injuries were so severe that a plastic surgeon had to operate to repair some of the extensive damage to his face. He remains in hospital.

The second male officer escaped serious injury in Tuesday’s attack and is recovering at home.

Another assault on a male officer by the same prisoner happened on Saturday afternoon. The prison officer was able to restrain the prisoner during the attack and escaped serious injury.

Following Saturday’s incident, a senior officer recommended the prisoner be removed to a management unit, which did not happen, placing more officers in danger as a result.

WAPOU Secretary Andy Smith said these serious attacks at Casuarina Prison showed the risks prison officers faced while doing their jobs.

“This attack took place on the same day as WAPOU members met with WA Corrective Services Minister Bill Johnston to discuss how short-staffed and ill-equipped our prison officers are,” Mr Smith said.

“Three prison officers were brutally attacked by the same prisoner – and one suffered serious injuries that needed reconstructive surgery.

“Advice to remove that prisoner came from a senior officer and was denied by management.

“This is completely unacceptable. Every jail in the State is understaffed and officers are not being provided with a safe work environment.

“In prisons like Bunbury Regional Prison, capsicum spray has been removed from prison officers’ personal protective equipment.

“It’s a case of the government prioritising saving money above prison officers’ safety. If the government continues to disregard the risk prison officers face, we are only going to see more violence in our prisons.”