Bikies would be banned from visiting their associates
in prison, under new legislation to be introduced to South Australia's
The SA Liberals promised a crackdown on drugs in
prisons before winning the March state election.
If successful, the bill would create a blanket ban
on members of outlaw motorcycle gangs visiting the state's prisons, to break
the chain of communication between drug traffickers operating inside prisons
and their outside connections.
Correctional Services Minister Corey Wingard said
the State Government was determined to stop drugs getting into its
"We know that drugs are getting into prisons
and we also know that bikies are operating out of prisons," he said.
"We want to shut that down, and this legislation
will make it nigh impossible for bikies to operate out of prison.
"We're going very, very hard on this because we
have zero tolerance."
As of April 2018, a total of 162 prisoners known to
be associated with bikie gangs were detained in South Australian prisons.
"In its current form, the [Correctional Services
Act] provides no power to prevent members of organised crime groups from
visiting prisons and associating with prisoners," Mr Wingard said.
He said police would work closely with the
Correctional Services Department to implement the ban.
The bill also looks to introduce workplace drug and
alcohol testing for prison officers, staff and contractors.
Mr Wingard said the new testing rules would apply
to officers and staff working in private correctional facilities as well,
namely the G4S operated Mount Gambier Prison.
"There will be a strict no-tolerance rule for
people [prison officers and staff] under the influence of drugs and
alcohol," he said.
"The Public Service Association has been very
supportive of this [because] this is going to keep prison officers safe and
it's going to keep drugs out."
Mr Wingard said he hoped the Labor Opposition would
support the bill.