• A protester holds an Aboriginal flag at the Black Deaths in Custody Rally at Town Hall in Sydney, Saturday, April 10, 2021. (AAP)Source: AAP
A corrections officer has told a coronial inquest he wasn't properly trained to conduct admissions interviews.
Sarah Collard

28 Apr 2021 - 1:19 PM  UPDATED 28 Apr 2021 - 1:22 PM

A corrections officer of 15 years has told the inquest into the death in custody of an Adelaide man that he received less than a day's training to interview and process prisoners upon their admittance to Yatala Labour Prison. 

Wayne Fella Morrison died at the Royal Adelaide Hospital three days after he was pulled unresponsive from a prison van at Yatala Labor prison in September 2016.

Corrections Officer Kym Golding told the inquest that staff training at the facility was lacking and there existed little oversight. Mr Golding was only removed from admissions intake duty after a second death in custody.

"They run short all the time. There was a request, I think it was verbally and there were three of us that got trained up - I was one of the three," Mr Golding told the deputy coroner on Wednesday. 

"My first night... I filled out the form, and there was only one person — that's all it was.” 

Mr Golding said this went against the standard practice of shadowing another experienced prison officer for three days, but that he never raised concerns over his lack of training. 

Vital documents not filled out

The junior ranked officer failed to properly complete the intake forms. These detail health concerns and/or the risk of self harm or suicide, and should trigger a notification of concern during the interview process. 

“I thought I was doing the right thing because I never got any feedback. Mistakes were made, I didn't realise the consequences - I didn't realise how bad the mistakes were. But it's (happened) here twice now." 

Under questions by the family's lawyer, Claire O'Connor SC, the corrections officer said the importance of the intake documents had not been emphasised.

"I thought he'd be ok"

Mr Golding said Mr Morrison seemed happy and  “felt really good”, despite the 29-year-old telling him he had thought of deliberate self harm after his arrest. 

"He only scored 8 on the form — and 9 is the cut off... He was in good spirits," Mr Golding Told the inquest.

He agreed under questioning by Ms O'Connor that he should have raised concerns with the prison nurse, but said he could not remember if he raised it with the nurse on duty.

"By the form yes, if you go by the interview, 100 per cent no. He was presenting ok. I thought he'd be ok... He said he'll be fine, he told me he was ok, (that) he was in good spirits." 

The inquest continues.

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