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SA prisoner bungle 'not good enough'

AAP logoAAP 27/07/2016

Corrections staff who turned away an Adelaide prisoner when he tried to return from temporary leave will be held to account, the SA government says.

Robert Rigney, 33, remains at large 12 days after being told by officials at both Yatala Labour Prison and a nearby police station that he was not permitted back into custody after attending his sister's funeral.

Investigations have revealed Rigney, who was accompanied by a support person, reported to Yatala as required on July 15 but was told by a supervisor there was no legal basis for his return to custody.

He then tried to hand himself in at Holden Hill police station but was instead told to return to his bail address.

Rigney, who was being held on remand on an aggravated charge of causing serious harm with intent, has since removed his monitoring device and has not responded to calls for his return.

SA Corrections Minister Peter Malinauskas on Tuesday described the bungle as "completely unacceptable".

He said the senior management and staff involved in the incident would be held to account through an internal investigation overseen by corrections department chief David Brown.

"There was a lack of command and control exercised at the prison," he told parliament.

"No follow up. No actions taken. Not good enough."

The department has issued instructions to staff on how to manage prisoners surrendering themselves or returning from bail.

It has also clarified the guidelines for communication between SAPOL and corrections officials about any related incidents.

Rigney had been attending the funeral of sister Adeline Rigney-Wilson and her children Corey, five, and Amber, six, who were found dead in a house north of Adelaide in May.

Adeline's partner, Steven Graham Peet, has been charged with three counts of murder and will next appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court in August.

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