Crackdown on jailhouse weddings
JAILHOUSE weddings will be allowed in Queensland however an urgent review of policies has been ordered to ensure no repeats of this week's lavish ceremony for the nuptials of a convicted drug baron.
The Courier-Mail revealed yesterday that Terrence John Thornbury, 41, who was jailed for 10 years for drug trafficking, had served Moreton Bay bugs, prawns and steak to about 30 guests on Thursday when he married Jessica Salmon at Palen Creek prison farm.
The news rocked the most senior levels of government with both Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Police Minister Mark Ryan promising it would "never happen again".
Ms Palaszczuk blamed a junior manager for authorising the wedding and her government moved swiftly to ensure that any future weddings would have to be signed off by at least a deputy commissioner.
A Corrective Services spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the prison's general manager had been "counselled" on Friday, becoming the most senior scape goat for Thursday's debacle.
The department has also ordered a review into how the decision was made and a more comprehensive review of policies that will lead to guidance for prison staff on what's appropriate in the future.
The spokeswoman said prison weddings were extremely rare with the last one recorded in 2012
"While we won't rule out that from time to time some prisoners will get married in prison, certainly they won't have a reception of the nature that we saw the other day," she said.
Deputy opposition leader Tim Mander said he had "some sympathy" for a long-term prisoner having a simple registry-type ceremony but the details of Thursday's lavish bash were totally unacceptable.
"This is a reward for bad behaviour," he said.
"Under the Palaszczuk Government, our prisons are being run like country clubs. Prisoners should be fed porridge and not prawns so this situation needs to stop immediately. The minister needs to take responsibility for the culture that he has created."