Female Corrections employee without duress alarm groped by ‘sex pest’ inmate in prison

by | Jul 1, 2021 | Cops | 0 comments

A convicted sex offender in Holtze Prison attempted to grope and kiss a female civilian Correctional Services employee, who had not been defensively trained and did not have a duress alarm, despite several warnings to the agency of the dangers of the building they were in, sources have told the NT Independent.

The woman who was allegedly indecently assaulted was working in part of the male educational sector on June 10, which is in a portable building after the actual education areas were burnt in a riot last year, and the inmate was a well-known sex offender who has been in prison a long time, sources say.

Three sources confirmed the building has only one entry and exit point, presenting the potential for employees to get trapped by prisoners, with one source saying there had been at least two complaints made to Corrections about the safety of the building before the woman was assaulted, but no action was taken. The source also said the woman should not have been left alone with the prisoners.

“It is not an ideal set up,” one said.

“A prisoner, who is known as a sex pest, [a convicted sexual offender] was supposed to be interviewed. He grabbed her and attempted to grope and kiss her. She screamed out and managed to push him away, and officers at the officer’s post heard the scream and responded immediately.

“It was traumatic for the woman but not serious.

“He ran to the toilet, and when he came out they grabbed him. He was not combative. The area was closed and I believe they will open it again soon.”

The three sources told the NT Independent that while the woman did not have a duress alarm, Corrections had now ordered more.

The second source said that in the week following the assault, all female staff were given defensive training for the first time this year, and told to go home early due to their traumatic week.

One source said the training included instructions about staff not putting themselves at risk, by enabling an escape path when they deal with prisoners.

Corrections Services did not respond to questions from the NT Independent, including if the education building had been used again after the incident and why they continued to use it after they had been warned of safety issues. The NT Independent understands the building is currently not being used because of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Corrections also did not provide details of policy for training civilian staff and equipping them with duress alarms.

A source said staff had been offered counselling and there was a health and safety investigation.

WorkSafe NT could not comment on whether it was investigating by the time of publication, because of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on staff.

 

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