The union representing correctional service workers says a stand-off between prisoners and guards at Canberra’s jail on the weekend was a result of underfunding.
Thirteen prisoners staged a 23-hour protest when they climbed onto the roof of a building at the Alexander Maconochie Centre on Saturday.
It is believed staff shortages last week led to a series of lockdowns at the prison, some of which lasted a full day.
Vince McDevitt from the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) says the ACT Government is not funding the facility adequately.
“Look it’s a state-of-the-art facility that provides a myriad of services, they all come at a significant cost,” he said.
“Having said that, from an operational safety point of view we certainly believe there needs to be more money made available for better rosters and overtime.
“In the event of multiple unforseen absences, the jail doesn’t have the funding to backfill those vacancies and so the prisoners are locked down.”
Opposition spokesman Jeremy Hanson says the Government has mismanaged the jail.
“No one is happy with the way this place is being run, this is costing us $500 a day per prisoner,” he said.
“Now Jon Stanhope guaranteed to the public that this would be run at half that amount. It’s costing us twice the amount it should, where is the money going?
“It’s just an inability to run the thing.”
ACT Corrective Services is investigating the stand-off.