Helmets are 'standard practice in prisons'
A QUEENSLAND Corrective Services spokesperson has said that in footage in which a 17-year-old inmate appears to be wearing a spit hood, the prisoner is actually wearing a helmet.
The spokesperson said helmets were also used in the Maryborough Correctional Centre when appropriate. They said the helmet was for the safety of the prisoner.
"Helmets, also known as head and face protectors, are used under strict guidelines and are a safeguard for a prisoner who requires restraints or is assessed as being at risk of self-harm," the spokesperson said.
"A safety hood, also known as a spit mask, differs significantly from a helmet.
"Safety hoods are only used on prisoners who have a history of spitting at staff, who are threatening to spit at staff, or who are in an aggressive state and considered a threat to staff."
When used, safety hoods are placed across a prisoner's mouth, usually for a short period of time, when being moved within the prison or being attended to by staff.
Their purpose is to prevent the transfer of communicable diseases from a prisoner to a staff member.
"Correctional centres are challenging environments for staff and QCS has numerous regulations, protocols and procedures designed to maximise safety for its professional and committed staff members, as well as prisoners," the spokesperson said.