Home / Featured / Protest at Alice Springs prison: Eight prisoners on the roof

Protest at Alice Springs prison: Eight prisoners on the roof

  • Emily Woods

Eight male inmates are protesting on the roof of an accommodation unit at Alice Springs Correctional Centre, following disturbing footage aired on Monday night of teenagers being mistreated at youth detention centres in the Northern Territory.

A spokesman for the Northern Territory Department of Corrections confirmed eight prisoners had been on the roof since 3.45pm local time.

More News Videos

Prisoners riot in NT

Northern Territory police confirm there are eight prisoners currently on the roof of the Alice Springs adult prison. (Vision courtesy ABC News 24)

He said there were no weapons involved in the protest and there were no reports of injuries. NT police negotiators are assisting prison officers.

NT Corrections acting executive director of custodial operations Bill Yan spoke to ABC Radio in Alice Springs after speaking with staff at the prison.

“I think the guys were out during an exercise period and during the exercise period those eight have managed to get on the roof,” Mr Yan said.

“The police are just being briefed by management at the centre as we speak, they’re going to talk to the guys on the roof to see what their issue is and to see if we can resolve it.”

He said the situation was “pretty calm and stable” and he had not heard about what demands the prisoner protesters were making.

Prison officers would have been outside with the inmates, monitoring the exercise yard, when the prisoners climbed on the roof, Mr Yan said.

Alice Springs prison officers have blocked the road leading to the correctional centre. Photo: Steve Strike

“It’s not that easy to get up there, obviously these guys were determined to do it,” he said.

Mr Yan said the rest of the facility would continue to operate as normal as it can, while the protesters were on the roof.

Alice Springs prison officers have blocked the road leading to the correctional centre. Alice Springs prison officers have blocked the road leading to the correctional centre. Photo: Steve Strike

The Alison Springs facility houses up to 470 prisoners, of both genders, and functions as a minimum through to maximum security prison.

Fairfax Media photographer Steve Strike said the prison, which is about 30 kilometres from Alice, had been locked down and media barred from approaching the facility.

Alice Springs Correctional Centre. Alice Springs Correctional Centre.  

As the sun began to set over the prison, trucks brought in lighting equipment to assist police negotiators.

Tensions are running high following revelations of abuse of teenage boys at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in 2014 and 2015.

The ABC Four Corners program aired disturbing footage on Monday night showing the assault and mistreatment of teenage boys in the Alice Springs adult prison and the Don Dale youth detention centre near Darwin.

Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull has promised a royal commission into juvenile detention following the revelations. Meanwhile, the NT’s Corrections Minister John Elferink has been dumped.

More to come.

Leave a Reply

[userpro template=view]