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Claims of violence and sexual assaults at Etna Creek prison

Capricornia Correctional Centre, where there were 10 serious assaults on prisoners in 2010-11.
Capricornia Correctional Centre, where there were 10 serious assaults on prisoners in 2010-11. FILE

NO one knew Robert Gent.

No one knew his crime.

But within 10 minutes of being inside a Capricornia Correctional Centre unit he claims he was assaulted.

Prompted by a recent Morning Bulletin court report on another prison bashing, the 48-year-old Gladstone man decided to share his story.

Having served time in a Tasmanian jail, Gent said he moved to Queensland to be closer to his elderly mother last year.

However, he said within three months he was placed in the Etna Creek facility for a parole breach.

"In this prison, they stick you in with any old prisoner," he said.

"I went from low risk in Tasmania to high risk. There's nowhere else to house you."

After 10 days in that unit, Gent said he was moved to a mainstream unit.

Gent claims within half an hour he had been punched twice in the face by another inmate in the yard.

"I was bleeding profusely,'' he said.

"I've never been punched in the face before."

He said after being treated by medics he was placed back in the same unit.

While his alleged attacker had been moved, Gent said his friends had not.

"I was scared for my life," he said.

"Everyday I was harassed, sexually harassed... guys took swings at me.

"I was too scared to go out and make a phone call. I spent most of my time in my room."

Gent said violence was a daily occurrence within the jail, with officers being called to three to four assaults a day.

He blamed overcrowding for the problem.

"Nothing is going to change unless they have an inquiry into the management of the prison, into overcrowding," he said.

"That's what causes a lot of violence."

Gent said no matter the crime, no one deserved to live like that.

"The mentality is you're scum anyway," he said.

"The public are ignorant ... they think you're a criminal so you deserve what you get.

"But violence just leads to more problems.''

Topics:  capricornia correctional centre prison sexual assault violence



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