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‘Poisonous’ workplace culture at Vic prison

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‘Poisonous’ workplace culture at Vic prison

A toxic, gossip and innuendo-fuelled workplace culture dominated a Melbourne prison within the lead-as much as a guard taking his have lifestyles, a coroner has stumbled on.

Nonetheless Coroner Jacqui Hawkins says there may perhaps be no longer enough proof to carry out 53-year-extinct Bill Maxwell used to be bullied or stressed at work sooner than his March 2018 suicide.

Early Newspaper

His wife previously urged an inquest Mr Maxwell used to be ostracised by varied workers after he offered statements about an alleged 2016 assault exciting one other guard at the Melbourne Review Prison.

Ms Hawkins on Friday concluded there used to be a “toxic culture” when Mr Maxwell labored at MAP, “particularly in relation to when an officer writes up one other officer”.

“The culture used to be fuelled by gossip and innuendo,” the coroner acknowledged.

“There used to be an authorized unwritten code that it is seemingly you’ll perchance well well perchance also light continuously dangle one other officer’s aid and below no circumstances dob on or make an harmful statement a few fellow officer.

“There used to be moreover a sturdy perception that within the occasion you doubtlessly did there would be consequences.”

Ms Hawkins authorized this will seemingly seemingly perchance well create a “a principal health and security chance”.

Fifteen months sooner than Mr Maxwell used to be stumbled on ineffective at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, the inquest used to be urged he witnessed an incident at MAP exciting fellow guard Prem Chand.

A prisoner changed into abusive and aggressive, and headbutted and punched Chand. Mr Maxwell helped his colleague restrain the man, who used to be taken to a cell.

It used to be alleged Chand then kicked the prisoner’s head whereas he used to be handcuffed and restrained.

Chand used to be suspended after which fired, whereas Mr Maxwell offered statements to Corrections Victoria.

The foremost did not mention he saw a prisoner officer kicking the inmate whereas the 2nd did, nevertheless with out naming Chand.

Mr Maxwell used to be therefore moved to the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and promoted.

He urged some colleagues and guests he’d obtained backlash for changing his statement, nevertheless did no longer element any particular incidents.

His wife Tracey Kendall acknowledged her husband used to be urged he have not got “dogged on a blue shirt”.

The inquest used to be moreover urged about an allegedly fabricated letter in which Mr Maxwell sought Chand’s forgiveness for providing statements in opposition to him.

The letter acknowledged Mr Maxwell had been asked to exchange his statement to match that of a supervisor’s.

Chand used to be accused of fabricating the legend to verify out to score his job aid in a Dazzling Work Commission case.

Mr Maxwell used to be noticed ingesting and smoking extra commonly within the lead as much as his death.

Days sooner than, his wife asked him to shuffle out because she thought he used to be cheating on her. Mr Maxwell then texted a pal announcing he’d “surely screwed up at dwelling”.

Ms Hawkins stumbled on a alternative of stressors can dangle contributed to Mr Maxwell taking his have lifestyles.

She did no longer make any recommendations and acknowledged “substantial modifications” made by Corrections Victoria after Mr Maxwell’s death.

These included a “cultural reform strategy”, the introduction of a workers relief program and a “communicate up tenet”, apart from presentations about workplace bullying and the formal acknowledgement of R U OK Day.

In the period in-between, Chand has been charged with three offences, including basic legislation assault and fabricating proof in a Commonwealth proceeding.

He is due in Melbourne Magistrates Court docket for a diversion listening to on June 3.

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‘Poisonous’ workplace culture at Vic prison