Probe over jail deaths

Two killed in just two months

THE alleged murders of two inmates at Silverwater jail in two months, has prompted the formation of an investigative taskforce.

On Thursday, a 24-year-old inmate at Silverwater Jail was killed in his cell, and another 28-year-old inmate charged with his murder.

A 35-year-old male prisoner is also facing murder charges following the death of his 39-year-old cellmate in April.

A CSNSW spokeswoman said the Taskforce, led by three CSNSW assistant commissioners, would begin in the state’s remand centres immediately, and would “take a systematic look at the assessments and decision-making processes used to determine double-up cell placements”.

“Every death in custody is a tragedy and we want to ensure there are robust systems in place to prevent these types of incidents occurring,” she said.

In Thursday’s incident, NSW Police and forensics experts were called to the maximum security Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre (MRRC) at around 6.30am after the 24-year-old’s body was discovered by Corrective Services staff.

A spokesperson for NSW Police, said a section of the centre was sealed off as the crime scene was forensically analysed and statements were sought by investigators.

Extending its sympathies to the family and friends of the 24-year-old man, the CSNSW spokeswoman said all deaths in custody were also subject to a coronial inquest, adding that it would be inappropriate to comment further while the matter is being investigated.

However State MP for Auburn, Lynda Voltz, called on the Minister for Corrective Services to answer what reviews were carried out on the prisoner who died and whether he should have been placed in segregation.

“There are failures within and outside the Corrective Services system and the Government can’t hide behind a coronial review,” she said.

“They need to start answering questions.

“The reality is that the prison system is overcrowded and the Government needs to have better systems in place to deal with dangerous prisoners.”