LAST week I was reading the newspaper over breakfast when I almost choked on my cornflakes.
The caption staring at me read "Prison sickies: Rise in jail escapes blamed on alarming staff shortages".
After 30 years with NSW Corrections, I am quite aware of staff sick leave being an 'issue.'
During my 10 years as a prison governor sick leave was blamed for everything from budget blowouts to lost productivity but never, ever, had I heard of staff absenteeism being somehow linked to inmate escapes.
Working behind those four walls is a difficult and dangerous job. Dealing with inmates on a daily basis is not easy, violence is rife and apart from the very high possibility of being a victim of that very brutal environment, the chances of contracting disease is always present.