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Procedure Properties

Title: Assault
Category: Support Services
Version: 02
Implement Date: 3 March 2009
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public



Procedure - Assault

2.Allegations by an offender of assault (physical/verbal)
3.Allegations by staff / visitors of assault (physical / verbal)
4.Sexual assault / rape


To ensure that all offenders, staff and visitors receive timely and appropriate medical attention in the event of assault within a corrective services facility.

1. General

Access to medical attention must be available and encouraged for all offenders, staff and visitors subject to assault within a corrective services facility.

If any person presents with an injury that is indicative of assault, it should be treated as an assault, whether the person states so or not, and the incident must be reported. Refer procedure - Incident Reporting.

Types of situations can be distinguished-

  1. an assault by an offender on another offender;
  2. an assault by a Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) / Queensland Health (QH) officer or visitor on an offender;
  3. an assault by an offender on a QCS / QH officer or visitor; or
  4. an assault by a QCS / QH officer or visitor on a QCS / QH officer or visitor.

2. Allegations by an offender of assault (physical/verbal)

Upon notification of such incident the QH registered nurse should-

  1. ensure the offender attends the health centre as soon as possible;
  2. ensure a corrective services officer is present;
  3. record the complaint and findings in the medical records of the offender; and
  4. have the offender examined by a doctor, if appropriate.

Reports should be forwarded to-

  1. Nurse Unit Manager;
  2. general manager of the facility; and
  3. inform the visiting doctor if the offender requires further medical attention prior to movement to hospital (refer procedure - Transfers - Health Considerations).

3. Allegations by staff / visitors of assault (physical / verbal)

When staff or visitors declare an incident, the QH registered nurse should-

  1. examine the relevant person/s and document any injuries and history;
  2. have the person examined by a member of the QH centre staff; and
  3. report the incident to the general manager of the facility and forward the report to his/her line manager.

4. Sexual assault / rape

When an offender complains or notifies of a sexual assault the following must apply-

  1. obtain the offender's consent to respond and ascertain if he/she intends to report the matter to the authorities;
  2. the offender should not have his/her body or clothing washed before forensic evidence can be gathered;
  3. immediately inform the doctor of the allegation and arrange for the physical examination and collection of specimens as per the pack supplied by the Police;
  4. ensure that all specimens are sealed appropriately and secure them until collected by the Police (refer procedure - Preservation of a Crime Scene and Evidence);
  5. notify the general manager or nominee of the facility so that the appropriate authorities can be notified;
  6. arrange for follow-up treatment by psychologist or psychiatrist; and
  7. take baseline serology for HIV, HBV and HCV and arrange follow-up serology.

Follow-up investigations required for a female include-

  1. gonorrhoea swab - oral/anal/vaginal;
  2. chlamydia swab - vaginal;
  3. HIV;
  4. HBV; and
  5. syphilis.

Follow-up investigations required for a male include-

  1. gonorrhoea swab - oral/anal;
  2. HIV;
  3. HBV; and
  4. HCV.

If an offender wishes to pursue legal redress, the collection of forensic specimens may be undertaken by the Government Medical Officer. This should be determined by the visiting doctor on a case-by-case basis.

Offenders must be made aware that pursuing legal redress may mean they will require protection for the remainder of their sentence (refer procedure - Protection). Forensic specimens may be taken and forwarded to the laboratory, pending a decision by the offender as to whether they will pursue charges.

Follow-up counselling must be arranged. The issue of ongoing safety of the offender needs to be discussed and may necessitate liaison with other corrective services officers.

If anal penetration has occurred, faecal softeners should be considered to avoid constipation.

For further information, refer procedure - Sexual Assault.


Version History

03/03/2009 Version 02 - 28/08/2006 Version 01 - 01/07/2001 Version 00