Cannabis plants found growing in Gippsland correctional facility

The Victorian Minister for Corrections aims to hold the operators of a Gippsland correctional facility accountable after 28 cannabis plants were found growing in the centre.

Victoria Police seized the plants on Wednesday after the plants were discovered buried within the centre’s communal vegetable patch.

 

In a statement, Minister for Corrections, Steve Herbert, said he wants the operators of the privately run facility, GEO Group Australia, to explain how the crops could have been grown in the first place.

Victoria’s corrections commissioner Jan Shuard said they have requested a report from GEO about the incident.

“This prison is a big prison; it’s been operating for nearly 19 years [and] operates with around 940-odd prisoners”, Ms Shuard said.

“They have more than 800 prisoners in that prison and from time to time, despite the best security procedures, the best searching procedures, prisoners are able to get things into prison.”

Shadow Corrections Minister, Edward O’Donahue, said the latest incident demonstrates the need to establish benchmarks for public and privately run prisons in Victoria.

“There are some very concerning reports about what’s happening right now across the corrections system, both public and private”, Mr O’Donahue said.

“This is just one of many incidents across the corrections system that have come to light in recent weeks and months.”

Victoria Police’s discovery of the cannabis crop is part of a series of unfortunate events at the Gippsland Correctional centre.

Two inmates were recaptured after escaping from the centre in April this year and a brown snake was discovered moving in a box during a routine cell check.

GEO Group Australia is yet to comment on the matter.

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