QLD High-Security Prison In Lockdown Plans To Calm Prisoners With Ice Cream

A privately run high-security prison in Brisbane currently in lockdown over an industrial relations issue will buy its inmates ice cream to soothe raised tensions.

At 6am today the Arthur Gorrie Correction Centre went into lockdown, as 40 staff were reportedly refused entry to the premises in the wake of ongoing enterprise bargaining negotiations. 
GEO Group are contracted by the Queensland Government to run the prison, although their contract is up for renewal this year. 
Fears that staff and inmate safety may be at greater risk post-lockdown were met with this reply from GEO’s spokesman, Ken Davis: “I don’t know what [the prison manager] will do when he lifts it… We can go out and buy them ice creams or something like that for their dessert.”

Damien Davie, from the United Voice trade union, who represent the prison’s employees in the negotiations, said that their aim is to increase the staff-to-prisoner ratio to address issues of overcrowding: 
There’s currently one officer to between 36 and 40 (inmates), and sometimes as bad as one to 62. There should be two on the floor at all times. 
That is leading to assaults on our members, it’s leading to prisoner violence, drugs in the prison going undetected, prisoner behaviour not being corrected, just sheerly due to the lack of boots on the ground.” 
Earlier this year, United Voice submitted a petition with 174 employee signatures to the state government, calling for the immediate termination of the prison’s management, and requesting Queensland Corrective Services take over in the meantime. 
The issues raised in the submission included overcrowding, a culture of bullying in the workplace, and an increase in the amount of drugs being found behind prison walls.  
GEO Group has denied the bullying claims, but referred questions on staffing to the state government. 

Maybe they could buy their staff a sneaky soft serve to ease negotiations?

Photo: American Broadcasting Company.