Three more Illawarra inmates have complained of being unable to get a shower or a clean change of clothes while being housed in COVID-19 quarantine cells inside the state's busiest prison.
A lawyer for alleged Windang shooter Simon Fleming claimed in mid-December his client had been without a shower for two weeks while being housed in the quarantine wind at the Metropolitan Reception and Remand Centre, which sits inside the Silverwater prison complex.
Strict COVID-19 protocols mean every new inmate entering the centre must adhere to a 14-day quarantine period in which they are housed in a separate wing and their movements severely restricted so as not to potentially infect other prisoners.
Corrective Services NSW denied the allegations at the time, confirming all permanent cells contained shower facilities and inmates could ask for a change of clothes at any stage during their quarantine period.
However, similar complaints have since been aired by three more inmates, all of whom appeared in Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday seeking their released on bail.
Speaking through his lawyer, Lake Illawarra man Jacob Kofe said he had been unable to shower since his arrest on domestic violence charges on New Year's Eve.
Blackbutt's Jacob Dwyer, who was in custody on driving charges and also arrested on December 31, also reported being unable to take a shower since his incarceration.
Keiran Dunnell, from Fairy Meadow, was shirtless when he appeared before the court, saying he had not had a fresh set of clothes in the week he'd been locked up.
Meanwhile, lawyers and magistrates were left to twiddle their thumbs in near-farcical scenes on Monday as Corrective Services struggled to put quarantined inmates before the court for their scheduled appearances.
Several lawyers told the Mercury that the portable iPads - used in the quarantine wing where inmates have no access to the standard video link suites - were few and far between, and even when one was available, the terrible internet connection made talking to inmates virtually impossible.
The lack of resources meant more than a dozen Wollongong cases had to be adjourned to Tuesday, then again to Wednesday when the problems persisted.
When contacted for comment, a Correctives spokeswoman issued further denials about the lack of showering for quarantined inmates.
"Every cell at the MRRC is equipped with functioning showers, with the exception of a small number of temporary assessment cells," the spokeswoman said.
She also said the issues with iPad connectivity were being addressed.
"We have identified and progressed initiatives to address challenges in access and connectivity," she said.
"This includes the use of tablet technology and satellite AVL booths, which we look to expand alongside of new other initiatives into the future."
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