Last updated 3 November 2016 This chapter is currently under review.
Unlawful assembly, riot and mutiny
Section 122 of the Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld) (Corrective Services Act) creates the offence of unlawful assembly for which the prisoner may be imprisoned for three years. A person in prison is also prohibited from taking part in a riot or mutiny, for which sentences of up to six years may be imposed.
An unlawful assembly is defined in the s 122 (Corrective Services Act) when three or more prisoners:
- assembled with intent to carry out a common purpose and there are reasonable grounds to believe they will tumultuously disturb the peace or provoke other prisoners to tumultuously disturb the peace
- assembled with intent to carry out a common purpose, whether or not the assembly was lawful, conduct themselves in a way that there are reasonable grounds to believe they will tumultuously disturb the peace or provoke other prisoners to tumultuously disturb the peace.
Riot is defined as an unlawful assembly that has begun to act in a tumultuous way and is disturbing the peace.
If property is damaged in a riot or mutiny, the maximum sentence rises to 10 years, and if the riot endangers prison security, then a life sentence may be imposed. If a prisoner taking part in a riot or mutiny escapes, attempts to escape or aids others to escape, they may be liable to imprisonment for a maximum of 14 years.
Several other specific offences are created by ss 123 and 124 of the Corrective Services Act. These are criminal offences for which further sentences of imprisonment (maximum two years) may be ordered. The sections include provisions that a prisoner must not:
- possess, conceal or knowingly consume a prohibited thing or something intended to be used by a prisoner to make a prohibited thing
- prepare to escape
- kill or injure a corrections dog
- tamper with or destroy records
- attempt a disguise
- disobey a lawful direction of the proper officer of a court
- organise, attempt to organise or take part in any opposition to authority under the Corrective Services Act, whether inside or outside a corrective services facility
- without lawful authority, abstract information from, destroy information in or make a false entry in a record kept under the Corrective Services Act.