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Source: ABC Tasmania, Danielle McKay 18/10/12

Claims remand centre staffing dangerously low

There are claims Tasmania’s prison system is again in crisis with dangerously low staffing levels at the Launceston remand centre.

Earlier this year, three prisoners attempted to escape from the Launceston Reception Prison and a cell was set on fire.

The prison is now facing a new problem.

The Community and Public Sector Union’s Mat Johnston says a guard was moved into prisoner transport and staffing levels are now dangerous.

“We have serious safety concerns for those officers who will be on shift without that extra body around,” he said.

Despite hearings at the Industrial Commission, the union and the government have failed to reach a solution.

Liberal spokeswoman for correctional services Vanessa Goodwin says it is not good enough.

“This reflects a history of neglect in our prison system.”

The union is considering raising the matter with Workplace Standards.

The Corrections Minister,  Nick McKim, has been contacted for comment.

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