A prison officer suspended over allegations of having a relationship with a prisoner has been nominated for a council Australia Day award.
A prison officer suspended over allegations of having a relationship with a prisoner has been nominated for a council Australia Day award.

Officer suspended over inmate romance put up for award

A TOWNSVILLE prison officer suspended over allegations of having a relationship with a prisoner has been nominated for a council Australia Day award.

The name of the suspended Townsville Correctional Centre officer was thrown in the ring for Burdekin Shire Council's awards, where it recognises members of the community who made an "outstanding contribution" to the community.

He was stood down mid last year over allegations of having a relationship with a prisoner.

The investigation continues and he has not been charged.

Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) said at the time that it was committed to the highest standards of "conduct, transparency and accountability".

Townsville Correctional Centre. Picture: Evan Morgan
Townsville Correctional Centre. Picture: Evan Morgan

"We expect the highest in professional and ethical behaviour from all our officers," a statement said on the day of his suspension.

"Our officers play a vital role in ensuring the safety and security of the community by managing some of the most challenging people in society in highly dynamic situations.

"To do this effectively and humanely, it is important that their behaviour is ethical, appropriate and proportionate to the circumstances."

The man has not returned to work.

Burdekin Shire Council announced the winners of its Australia Day awards on Tuesday, and the man was the only nominee who did not win an award.

A spokesman from Queensland Corrective Services confirmed the officer remains suspended as a result of the investigation.

Townsville Correctional Centre. Picture: Evan Morgan
Townsville Correctional Centre. Picture: Evan Morgan

It did not confirm when, or if, he would return to work, or if any charges will be laid.

"As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for QCS to comment any further," the spokesman said.

It comes just weeks after another Townsville Correctional Centre prison guard faced court on rape and sexual assault charges.

In an email sighted by the Townsville Bulletin, Corrective Services sent a letter to staff advising a staff member was charged with a criminal offence.

The email was sent by Chief Superintendent Louise Kneeshaw, who stepped into the prison's top job last year.

Supt Kneeshaw was named the new permanent general manager of the complex on January 22.

Supt Kneeshaw will be supported by two Deputy General Managers, Superintendent Rod Carroll, who will manage the Townsville Women's Correctional Centre and Superintendent Brad Jones who will manage the Townsville Men's Correctional Centre.

 

shayla.bulloch@news.com.au

Originally published as Officer suspended over inmate romance put up for award


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