Jail officer’s agonising wait

A DEVASTATED prison officer spat on by an inmate won't kiss his family goodbye as he awaits tests, after one of the latest assaults to rock Queensland Corrective Services.

The officer's wife says she is fed up with almost daily assaults by prisoners who appear to receive minor penalties or none at all.

Her husband was spat on by a prisoner last year.

She said there was now an agonising wait for hepatitis C and HIV results, and her husband was reluctant to talk about the assault.

"We're the one who gets sentenced over this," said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

"They have the right to go to work and come back home to their family safe. This is happening to officers everywhere and it has to stop."

QCS figures show the rate of prisoners seriously assaulting officers was .08 per 100 inmates and for assaults was .87 per 100 in 2018-19.

The organisation says it is responding by managing out-of-cell activity, increasing the use of behaviour management strategies and managing "hot spots" for prisoner violence.

Together Union industrial services director Michael Thomas said officers were assaulted daily, which placed significant stress on their families.

"We see the results when people are physically attacked, punched, struck, but these sorts of assaults with spitting, being exposed to blood ... have a significant risk with them as well that puts huge stress on officers," he said.

"We know that the cause of a lot of these increased pressures is the overcrowding and we continue to call on the Government to put in measures to alleviate those pressures but also to ultimately reduce that overcrowding."

Mr Thomas said the Government had provided extra staff and equipment but was "only treating symptoms. In the long run we still need to get our jail population down."

The Government has announced a new 1000-bed jail at Gatton and an expansion of Capricornia jail.

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