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Maximum security inmates escape onto prison roof

Two maximum-security inmates from Wellington’s Rapid-Build Prison have managed to escape from a prison exercise yard.

Ray Hadley received a tip that two prisoners from the Wellington Correctional Centre climbed onto the roof last Tuesday night, with officers using gas to get them down.

The two escapees managed to get access to the roof by scaling a dividing wall in an exercise yard.

Corrective Services NSW has confirmed the incident and told The Ray Hadley Morning Show the inmates were in the area as a result of “good behaviour” (full statement below).

“Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin has praised Macquarie Correctional Centre officers for their swift and safe removal of two inmates from a roof.

Immediate Action Team officers gained access to the roof and used gas to safely secure the two inmates. At no time did the inmates have access to the perimeter fence.

They were removed from the roof and placed into segregation. The inmates have since been reclassified and transferred out of the centre, one to Mid North Coast Correctional Centre, the other to Goulburn Correctional Centre.”

But, it doesn’t end there.

Ray received another tip, with the whistleblower claiming prisoners were accessing the roof as recently as Saturday night. Corrective Services has denied this.

Ray Hadley is calling out the “first failure” of the rapid-build prison, which is used to house “lifers” who haven’t been causing problems inside.

“Are we talking about murders? Are we talking about mass murders? Are we talking about rapists? Are we talking about child sex offenders?

“I think what you need to do, Pete, is go back to the drawing board in relation to who you put into this rapid-build prison.”

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Full statement from Corrective Services NSW

“Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin has praised Macquarie Correctional Centre officers for their swift and safe removal of two inmates from a roof on Tuesday, 15 May.

Officers raised the alert about 8.30pm, after two inmates climbed a dividing wall in an exercise yard and gained access to the roof of an internal building.

Immediate Action Team officers gained access to the roof and used gas to safely secure the two inmates. At no time did the inmates have access to the perimeter fence.

They were removed from the roof and placed into segregation. The inmates have since been reclassified and transferred out of the centre, one to Mid North Coast Correctional Centre, the other to Goulburn Correctional Centre.

Mr Severin said the incident demonstrated the types of situations correctional officers dealt with on a regular basis.

“Corrective Services officers face a difficult job each day in managing some of the most dangerous people,” Mr Severin said.

“While there has been little need for this type of intervention at the Macquarie Correctional centre so far, I commend staff for their swift and professional response to this incident.”

As a result of the incident, the installation of tiger mesh over the centre has been expedited, to ensure such incidents do not re-occur.

The Rapid-Build Prisons are designed for a population of maximum and medium security long-term, stable and sentenced male inmates. Suitable inmates, who are keen to use their time constructively, are identified and placed at the new centres. Those who misbehave will be removed from the centre.

The Rapid-Build Prisons provide Corrective Services NSW with flexible placement options for these inmates, and decisions taken about placements are made on a case by case basis. In the initial operational phase it is obviously also important to ensure that the centres have the right inmate mix to bed down all security and operational routines.”

Ray Hadley EXCLUSIVE
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