Maryborough Correctional Centre.
Maryborough Correctional Centre. Valerie Horton

Drugs served over jail walls in tennis balls, officer says

ILLEGAL drugs are being served with tennis racquets over the fence into the Maryborough jail, according to a prison officer.

The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was a big drug problem at the Maryborough Correctional Centre.

He is the third officer to approach the Chronicle and talk about problems at the prison.

"It's (drugs) everywhere in there," he said.

"It comes in through the mail and even over the fence.

"With golf balls, tennis balls and rocks, it's just a tennis racquet and ping ... straight over."

The officer said prisoners often knew when something was coming in.

"They may receive a tip-off that something is coming on and they'll wander behind the block and pick it up," he said.

"The guys do a good job on the fences but it's still around."

The centre's acting general manager, Peter Drage, said maintaining the security of any correctional centre was paramount.

"At a minimum, 15% of the total number of cells of a secure facility must be searched each week," he said.

"Any prisoner caught with a prohibited item or any visitor found smuggling contraband faces a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment."

The anonymous prison officer rejected claims by former MCC general manager Trevor Craig that staff morale was not low.

"If you asked 98% of officers there, they would say there was a low morale," he said.

Mr Craig told the Chronicle in June that indicators of low morale were not there.



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