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Prison staff meet residents

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November 22, 2017

Frustrated Dhurringile community members met prison and corrections staff to try and find solutions following recent escapes.

Tensions between the community and Dhurringile prison have been strained since last month after a prisoner escaped twice in the same week.

Dhurringile Community Action Group secretary Rachel Smith said 33 people, about 10 per cent of the Dhurringile population, came to the meeting on Monday night.

‘‘People were very annoyed, frustrated and angry because this escape was different from the previous ones,’’ Ms Smith said.

‘‘The lack of confidence in the security (at the prison) has the community quite distressed.’’

Prison management, Victoria Police and City of Greater Shepparton councillor Dennis Patterson attended the meeting, as the prison management informed the community of developments since the escape.

The text message alert system, which was put in place to keep the community informed of any breakouts, was tested at the meeting.

‘‘It was not working 100 per cent but at least it is a small step forward,’’ Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith said the meeting was productive but the recent breakouts had been distressing.

‘‘People have changed some of their habits to make their homes more secure and I would say some people are afraid,’’ she said.

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