Fallout continues from controversial prison wedding

 

It was condemned by the Premier and the Corrective Services Minister. Now the fallout continues for a prison manager who was "counselled" after a drug trafficker was allowed to serve guests Moreton Bay bugs during a jailhouse wedding.

Palen Creek prison farm deputy general manager Lex Buchanan will now work at Borallon jail, as part of statewide transfers.

Queensland Corrective Services insisted the prison swap is part of routine statewide transfers and would not comment on whether people involved in the wedding decision had been disciplined or promoted.

The move was announced among seven transfers.

 

On May 9, convicted drug trafficker Terrence Thornbury served his 36 wedding guests bugs, prawns and steak and posed for photographs with his new bride at the prison farm, which has a picturesque backdrop despite being a jail.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said they were both disgusted and said such a situation would "never happen again".

In response, QCS said "we share the concerns expressed about the event" and changed wedding guidelines, upgrading required approval from manager to deputy commissioner.

Prior to the wedding, QCS Custodial Operations Practice Directives stated a deputy commissioner had to be informed of details of inmate weddings, before approval by a manager, however QCS said in the Thornbury case that process did not occur.

The scandal was referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission, but it has been referred back to QCS.

The Office of the Chief Inspector is carrying out the investigation into the incident.

"The GM (general manager) and DGM (deputy general manager) were immediately called in for formal counselling by the Deputy Commissioner," a QCS spokeswoman said after news of the wedding broke.

"Further actions are dependent on the outcomes of the present investigations."

When asked if QCS would make public a list of the wedding guests, a spokeswoman said it would be a breach of privacy rules and did not answer how many guests had criminal histories, other than saying all visitors had to undergo security checks.

Thornbury was transferred to a high-security jail within weeks of the wedding.

His move came just days after raids at the jail, in which "prohibited substances" and a phone were found.

It is unclear if Thornbury's move was related to the raid or the wedding, for which he had received approval.



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