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BIKER NEWS: WA prison stabbing raises gang concerns

BIKER NEWS -- A suspected gang-related stabbing in a Perth jail has reignited concerns about prison staffing levels and overcrowding. ...

BIKER NEWS -- A suspected gang-related stabbing in a Perth jail has reignited concerns about prison staffing levels and overcrowding.

A 32-year-old inmate was beaten and stabbed - reportedly with a broken broom handle - at the maximum-security Casuarina Prison on Monday.

West Australian Prison Officers Union secretary John Welch said the attack was rumoured to be a gang-organised 'payback' involving at least one outlaw motorcycle gang.

He said overcrowding at virtually all of Perth's prisons, which the union has long complained about, has made it harder to keep rival gang members apart and prevent such violent incidents.

'That gets harder and harder the more overcrowded you are,' he told AAP.

'The international standard of best practice is between five and 10 per cent of capacity should be available to move prisoners around.'

Mr Welch also said Casuarina had been running 15 to 20 staff short in the days leading up to and following the attack.

That was resulting in temporary cuts to health and education services offered to prisoners as guards retreated to the most critical areas of the prison's operation.

Corrective Services Commissioner James McMahon said Perth would require a new prison in three years if inmate numbers continued to increase at last year's rate of about 7.4 per cent, and noted there had been a significant increase in gang members in WA jails.

Meanwhile, Acting Treasurer John Day has singled out the need for a new prison as one of the reasons the cash-strapped state government has increased land taxes.

A police spokeswoman said investigations into the attack were continuing, and a Corrective Services spokesman said the victim was in a stable condition.

AAP

This article was first published on 29 October 2015
Get a copy of skynews.com.au or go to skynews.com.au for more stories.

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