Prisoner given private information about officer

Prison story

Prison story

A Queensland jail is embroiled in a security breach in which a maximum security prisoner was given confidential information about an officer he had previously assaulted.

The breach came to light earlier this week when inmate Dwayne Small taunted the officer, asking him questions that showed he had intimate knowledge about the officer's wife and children.

The information included where his son was attending pre-school and that the young boy was having difficulty sleeping following the attack on his father at the Brisbane Correctional Centre's maximum security unit (MSU) in January last year.

Small, classed as a serious violent offender with a long criminal history of violence in and out of jail, threw boiling water into the officer's face.

The officer's face was scalded.

As a result, the officer later went on stress leave and Small was charged over the attack and moved to the MSU at Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre.

However, Small was transferred back to the Brisbane Correctional Centre MSU last week after Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) closed the MSU at Arthur Gorrie following the death in custody of an inmate and series of security breaches at the jail.

Prison staff said Small had received the letter while at Arthur Gorrie.

Staff also told Seven News they believed Small accessed the information through a confidential psychiatric report prepared for a victim's impact statement for either the court proceedings relating to the assault or the officer's work cover claim.

The officer has gone on stress leave this week.

"Small knew where the officer lived, where his wife worked, and most disturbingly, the name of his son and where he attended pre-school. Small knew details about how the attack impacted on the officer's family and said, 'Do you think your son (name) will ever sleep okay again because of what I did to you'," a prison officer told Seven News.

"It is a huge breach of security, the maximum security units were built to keep Queensland's most dangerous prisoners, theses threats are not to be taken lightly," he said.

Seven News revealed last year two similar incidents in which victim impact statements had been inadvertently given to prisoners who had been charged with assaulting staff in the MSU at Brisbane Correctional Centre. One of the MSU officers has since resigned after he and his pregnant wife were threatened by inmate with known links to an outlaw motorcycle gang.

A QCS spokesperson confirmed Small obtained the information about the officer, admitting authorities could not check documents sent to prisoners through legal processes such as court matters.

"It would appear that the prison has obtained information through legal processes. Under the Corrective Services Act such documents are classified as 'privileged mail', which mean the centre is unable to open the letter and review its contents prior to delivery," the spokesperson said, " As a consequence, the centre would not have known what the letter contained at the time it was delivered to the prisoner."

The spokesperson said the QCS was doing everything to ensure the ongoing safety ands security of its staff and no circumstances condones the provision of personal information about staff to prisoners.

"QCS has and will continue to offer ongoing support and assistance to the Corrective Services Officer," the spokesperson said.