Marshall Government cracks down on drugs in prisons

The Marshall Liberal Government is forging ahead with its zero tolerance policy on drugs in our State’s prisons with tough new laws to be introduced in State Parliament this week.

The Correctional Services (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill) provides for amendments to be made to the Correctional Services Act 1982 (the Act) to provide the power to:

• prohibit members of outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG) and organised crime groups from visiting prisons; and
• institute workplace testing of prison officers, staff and contractors for alcohol and illegal drugs.

“The Marshall Government has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drugs in our State’s prisons,” said Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Corey Wingard.

“Unfortunately, drugs are infiltrating our prisons and those behind bars associated with OMCG attempt to continue criminal activities and associations whilst in custody or recruit new members.

“The introduction of this Bill is the first step to stamping out the scourge of drugs in our prisons and cracking down on members of OMCG.

“The Marshall Government will prohibit members of OMCG visiting their associates in prisons to stop them peddling drugs in prisons and the broader community.

“As at April 2018 a total of 162 prisoners known to be associated in some way with an OMCG were detained in our prisons.

“However, in its current form, the Act provides no power to prevent members of organised crime groups from visiting prisons and associating with prisoners.

“This Bill will introduce an amendment that specifically recognises criminal organisations as defined in the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935.

“In doing so it will enable DCS to work closely with SAPOL to limit the power and control of organised crime groups and sever links between prisoners and their associates.

“The Bill also introduces drug and alcohol testing for Correctional Services staff, including G4S officers at Mount Gambier Prison, on a random and targeted basis.

“There will be a strict no-tolerance rule for people under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol on prison grounds.

“Ultimately this Bill will assist DCS to block potential avenues for drug incursion and increase the safety, security and integrity of the prison system.”

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