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Old 10-31-2006, 04:37 PM
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Default Prisoner blows whistle on poison stew plot

Prisoner blows whistle on poison stew plot
http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/prisoner-blows-whistle-on-poison-stew-plot/2006/10/28/1161749357962.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1
October 29, 2006
TWO prisoners are under guard after pouring floor cleaner into a stew being cooked for about 400 other inmates of a Sydney jail.

The pair were moved to another jail and are now in segregation there after other inmates found out about the attempt and threatened revenge.

The kitchens at the Silverwater Correctional Complex, the state's largest jail, prepare 3500 meals a day for jails around Sydney, including Long Bay, Parramatta and the maximum-security women's unit, Mulawa.

A five-member work gang at the western Sydney prison was preparing food on the afternoon of October 20 when commercial-strength floor cleaner was poured into a 250-litre, steam-jacketed pot cooking stew.

The contaminated stew was to be transferred into 350 to 400 smaller containers to feed prisoners in the Silverwater complex housing 1570 inmates, and in other Sydney jails.

But the poison plot was thwarted when one of the kitchen crew, fearful of the consequences, broke ranks and alerted a prison officer.

When the officer had a look, he was almost overwhelmed by the strong smell. The stew was later destroyed.

The Silverwater complex is made up of a minimum-security jail, the Mulawa unit, and the maximum-security Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre housing 900 male inmates.

All five inmates on the kitchen detail, who are from the minimum-security area, were questioned, and two were later identified as the main culprits.

Both men are believed to be in their 20s and serving short sentences for minor offences.

A Corrective Services Department spokeswoman said two prisoners implicated were the subject of an internal investigation.

She admitted the prisoners were no longer at Silverwater, and had been transferred for their own safety.

Investigators are unclear about the motive but it is known that one of the kitchen's cookers was out of action and the men had been told to work harder.

One theory is that the ringleaders decided to disrupt the kitchen's food supplies by poisoning one of the meals.

Large containers of floor cleaner are kept locked near the kitchen area. But prisoners had access to a one-litre bottle used to mop the floors when the cooking shift ends.

Industrial-strength floor cleaning fluid is not lethal, but can cause severe eye and skin irritation and carries a warning not to swallow.

If swallowed, the fluid is capable of burning the mouth, throat and stomach and causing headaches, nausea and vomiting.


The two accused inmates are likely to face an internal disciplinary hearing, which can either increase their sentences or delay their parole.

They will almost certainly lose privileges, visits, phone calls and time allowed for association, work and recreation.

If a police report is filed, it may be sent to NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, Nicholas Cowdery, QC, to see if the offence warrants criminal charges.

A Corrective Services official said the Silverwater kitchens provided nutritional meals to the highest standard of hygiene, and the October 20 incident was the department's first case of deliberate contamination using a dangerous substance.
<H3>PRISONERS BEHAVING BADLY


April 2006: Authorities used capsicum spray to subdue 26 inmates who snatched keys and took over part of Hobart's Risdon prison.
January 2006: Ten alleged members of a terror organisation went on hunger strike in Victoria's Barwon prison in protest against not being allowed to pray together.
June 2005: Police foil a plot to use a mobile crane to bust seven accused criminals out of the Melbourne Remand Centre.
February 2005: In Barwon, triple-killer Ashley Mervyn Coulston had his computer confiscated after downloading violent scenes.
March 1993: Warden Heather Parker helped lover Peter Gibb and fellow inmate Archie Butterly escape from the Melbourne Remand Centre.
</H3>
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Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

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