Alleged ‘body-slam’ of Aboriginal woman at Bandyup highlights need for systemic change

Greens spokesperson for Corrective Services Hon Alison Xamon MLC has expressed her deep concern about the alleged “body-slam” of a prisoner at Bandyup Women’s Prison over the weekend, which fellow prisoners claim left an Aboriginal woman in a critical condition.

Ms Xamon said she intended to question the Government about the incident, following reports the woman was “’body slammed’ on Saturday and that she was taken to hospital.

She said if reports were accurate, the incident was all the more shocking, allegedly occurring just days after the death of an Aboriginal man at Acacia Prison.

“The incident at Bandyup, if reported accurately, is unacceptable and quite frankly, a disgrace,” Ms Xamon said.

“It comes at a time when the Government is already dragging its heels on implementing recommendations made by the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services, following the abhorrent treatment of a woman forced to give birth alone in a cell at Bandyup in 2018.

“OICS has clearly called for a culture-change at Bandyup, and this latest alleged incident makes it clear that that is not happening.

“It’s not good enough.”

Ms Xamon said the alleged critical injury of an Aboriginal woman and the death of an Aboriginal man were extremely alarming, particularly as both incidents coincided with national rallies  to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

She said it beggared belief that TWO such incidents were apparently able to take place in the first place, but certainly when Aboriginal deaths in custody were again under the national spotlight.

“We urgently need action not only to reduce Aboriginal deaths in custody, but also to reduce the overall number of Aboriginal adults, children and young people in our prisons,” Ms Xamon said.