I am a former team member on the TRT and have been a CCO for a number of years throughout various jails.
I was involved in an incident where a planned use of force took place and chemical agents were deployed.
Immediately after the incident, management took no accountability for the planning of force. To be accurate, they wiped their hands of it.
The force used in the incident was proportionate to the prisoners level of resistance. It was also force that is taught to us in the academy, and was in no way excessive.
I was told the force used was NOT in the manual which made me feel there was a lack of knowledge and support for staff.
It was then referred to ESG for their review.
I immediately contacted Jack McDonald at Sibley lawyers and informed him of the situation. Without hesitation he started asking questions regarding the incident and taking notes. It was clear that Jack was very knowledgeable in our process, due to him justifying all of my actions in the incident. For example: I stated that I did, “X,Y,Z” and he would reply, “that is something that you’re taught at the Academy and according to the CSA2006 you’re completely justified etc etc etc”
I became instantly confident in his knowledge and advice regarding the situation. After speaking with Jack, there was no doubt in my mind that I would have a positive outcome in the investigation.
Investigations cause immense stress on staff and their families. And without having the support of our management team, how are we supposed to go to work confidently knowing that our actions will not be defended by the people that give us the directions and teach us the techniques.
There were multiple times where the stress was becoming too much and I contacted Jack several times for his guidance.
Each time Jack would always reply in a timely manner and provide me with information that would calm my nerves.
Finally after months of stressing and waiting, I finally had an interview date. After forwarding the details onto Jack he informed me that I will receive a phone call from Justin.
Justin called me and ran through the entire process of the interview and prepared me better than I could ever imagine for the questions that lay ahead.
After being involved in multiple investigations, I thought I knew it all. I had my statement completely prepared and was confident going into the interview. Then after my conversation with Justin, he highlighted specific questions that ESG could ask in the interview that I was not prepared for and he supported me to making smart decisions in my answers and preparing evidence to refute the accusation from management.
The day of the interview came and I headed towards the conference room prepared with my statement. Justin was already there and making conversation with investigators. He then talked me through everything with the interview and made me feel confident of the potential outcome.
During the interview there were times where my nerves got to me and Justin was able to intervene to give me some time to think.
Thankfully due to the assistance and guidance of everyone at Sibley lawyers the investigation was not capable of being substantiated and I was able to move on with my career and my life.
I cannot thank Justin and Jack enough for their time and patience and I would highly recommend them to anybody working in the public service.