Prison plagued with allegations of contraband


Canberra’s maximum-security jail has been plagued by stories and allegations of contraband and illicit drugs being readily available amongst inmates since its inception. Just last year the prison was forced into an unprecedented emergency shut down after a hole in a perimeter fence and a package of contraband was discovered.

Now, a former inmate’s memoir has detailed fresh allegations of how drugs and other contraband are smuggled into the Alexander Maconochie Centre. The allegations include claims that visitors are a regular source and drugs have been thrown over the fences in balls and packages.

“ACT Corrections Minister Shane Rattenbury has a lot to answer for after overseeing the prison for over eight years now. There has been a clear lack of consequences for the failures surrounding the AMC,” Shadow Minister for Corrections Giulia Jones said today.

“I have recently heard reports that there have been less illicit drugs detected in the prison as a result of the transition to virtual visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. This would support the former inmate’s allegations and could serve as a lesson for the ACT Government.

“I encourage the Minister to learn from the experience of virtual visits as a tool to prevent further contraband getting inside the prison.

“The Minister must also review the patrols of the perimeter fence and how cameras are or are not working at night. Too often packages – such as footballs and tennis balls – stuffed with drugs are thrown over the fence in the dark of night,” Mrs Jones concluded.