A prisoner physically attacked his wife as she was being led through the grounds of an NT prison, prompting calls for urgent ­action to separate male and ­female inmates at NT jail
A prisoner physically attacked his wife as she was being led through the grounds of an NT prison, prompting calls for urgent ­action to separate male and ­female inmates at NT jail

Man’s prison attack on wife sparks call for action

A PRISONER physically attacked his wife as she was being led through the grounds of an NT prison, prompting calls for urgent ­action to separate male and ­female inmates at NT jails.

A confidential internal document, obtained by Sky News, reveals the female inmate was being escorted from the women's section at the Alice Springs Correctional Centre to the jail's shared medical centre when she was attacked.

The prison's layout meant she had to be escorted through the male section, where her husband was detained.

Auditors found this was one of several physical incidents between male and female prisoners at the Alice Springs and Darwin prisons.

"Among the worst of these was a reported incident at Alice Springs Correctional Centre where the husband of a female prisoner saw her being transported across the male precinct and physically attacked his wife, seriously injuring her, as well as a staff member," they wrote.

The review said the NT Government needed to take "immediate action".

"While a number of jurisdictions across Australia house both male and female prisoners within the same facility (generally in adjacent precincts with a common wall), the NT facilities are the only ones the project team is aware of that have the female unit within the walls of the male precinct," the auditors wrote.

"(It is) unacceptable that women be escorted through the male facility in order to attend the medical facility, as well as a range of other programs and services."

Attorney-General Natasha Fyles said work had been done to address the issue.

"There has been work that was done around both Darwin and Alice Springs facilities in terms of the fact that both male and female prisoners are housed on the same campus," she said.

"There was additional screening at the Darwin correctional facilities to make sure as male prisoners moved about the facility that they couldn't see into those female spaces."