‘Chronic’ staff shortages spark violent riot at Yatala Labour Prison

The state’s highest security prison descended into chaos over the long weekend when prisoners violently revolted against a lockdown caused by chronic staff shortages, according to a media report.

Confronting images of the aftermath of the riot at Yatala Labour Prison on Saturday show sinks pulled off walls, pieces of sharp metal sheeting strewn across the floor, graffiti and debris littered throughout cells and corridors.

Frustrated prisoners erupted in violence while locked down for lunch.

Shadow Minister for Corrections, Tim Whetstone, echoed calls from the Public Service Association (PSA) for an immediate review of the dangerous incident.

“It is shocking to hear the PSA say lockdowns are becoming more common because understaffing in South Australian prisons is not being addressed,” he said.

“Labor’s Corrections Minister Joe Szakacs must act immediately and commit to boosting resources in our prisons to keep guards and inmates safe at all times.

“It’s already being reported that the Labor Government is refusing to commit to staff increases and that is completely unacceptable.

“Mr Szakacs must also promise to release any review into the riot so lessons can be learned and we never see this incident repeated.

“If violence like this continues it is only a matter of time before a guard or prisoner is seriously injured or killed.

“We’ve been living with COVID-19 for two years now and the pandemic shouldn’t be used as an excuse for putting lives at risk in our prisons.

“Boost staff numbers and keep everyone safe. It’s that simple.”

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