Prisoners face charges over jail riot

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Albany Regional Prison.
Camera IconAlbany Regional Prison. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Six prisoners have been charged with causing damage during a riot at Albany Regional Prison last year which took two hours to contain.

The six prisoners, who have since been transferred to another facility, were charged after allegedly damaging lights, windows and a security grille on September 19.

One prisoner also faces two counts of detaining another with intent to compel the doing of an act.

The Albany Magistrate’s Court was told the prisoner detained two other men to compel the Department of Justice to transfer him to an alternative prison.

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The six men all fronted court on Thursday in custody via video link for the first time.

They were not required to plead to the charges and were remanded for legal advice until June 27.

After the riot last year, the WA Prison Officers’ Union claimed the request of two prisoners to be transferred to a Perth prison was rejected, leading to the riot and damage, which further added to prison overcrowding across the State. “This prompted the pair to try and manipulate the system by causing a riot that damaged prison infrastructure,” WAPOU secretary Andy Smith said.

“WAPOU commends the prison officers involved for acting in a highly professional manner and bringing the situation under control quickly and safely.

“Overcrowded prisons create a dangerous and volatile environment within which prison officers are required to work on a daily basis.”

The Department of Justice said no prisoners or prison officers were injured during the two-hour incident, which was contained by the Albany Security Unit, which was the prison’s own response team.

At the time, the department described the incident as “minor”.

“At all times they were contained within their cell block and did not leave it at any stage until the incident was safely contained by the Albany Security Unit,” a spokeswoman said.

“Damage, mainly to a security grille, fluorescent lights and windows, was minor. No prisoners or staff members were injured.”

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