Dispute - Mobilong Prison - Increased Capacity

05 January 2017

PSA members at Mobilong Prison have concerns that some of the operating and infrastructure plans proposed by DCS will result in an unsafe environment for Correctional Officers, prisoners and potentially the general public.

DCS has constructed 104 new beds at Mobilong Prison which will take the total count to 472 beds. The PSA initially lodged a dispute in June 2016 and has subsequently engaged in extensive consultation. In December 2016 it appeared agreement had been reached on a number of items. As a result 32 of the new beds in Eyre Unit were occupied.

DCS are now inferring that some operating and infrastructure items which were discussed were not agreed. PSA members deem these items as important for the safety of Correctional Officers and prisoners.

Key items of concern include:

  • DCS proposal to leave delineation fence gates open, this will compromise the ability for correctional officers to control and monitor prisoner movement via a central movement control point
  • The lack of industries for prisoner employment
  • The lack of suitable industries work areas to accommodate the increased number of prisoners to be employed
  • DCS issuing an Eyre Unit proposed fill program without any consultation
  • DCS commitment for Biometric movement control of prisoners appears to have been withdrawn

Due to the safety and infrastructure concerns members at Mobilong Prison postponed any plan to fill the remaining new beds.

DCS referred the matter back to the SA Industrial Relations Commission and a voluntary conference was convened by the Commission on 30 December 2016. The Commissioner will be visiting Mobilong Prison on Friday 6 January 2017 for viewing and a report back meeting which will be held on site after the viewing.

The PSA will not allow Correctional Officers and prisoners safety to be compromised. The PSA will keep members informed of the report back meeting outcome.