‘One of the Northern Territory’s top prison officials says Darwin jail is chronically overcrowded and should be closed.
NT Correctional Services executive director Ken Middlebrook made the statement at a coronial inquest into the death of a man who killed himself in Berrimah prison.
Mr Middlebrook said he was “dealing with greater levels and numbers” of prisoners than he could handle.
He said the prison was designed decades ago for just over 100 prisoners.
Mr Middlebrook said that, last night, there were 698 prisoners in the jail.
The subject of the inquest, Robert Johnson, killed himself in the prison last year.
In 2009, Johnson alleged he was assaulted by three prison officers.
Mr Middlebrook told coroner Greg Cavanagh his officers had a strict code of conduct and were “fair and reasonable”.
The inquiry is continuing.