Inside the brutal Australian prison where inmates use gruesome tactics to try and manipulate hardened guards – with sometimes deadly results



A prison guard has revealed the horrific tactics prisoners use to manipulate hardened screws to get their way.

As Victorian coroner Paul Lawrie continues to investigate the prison death of motorcyclist Brent ‘BJ’ Reker, Daily Mail Australia can reveal the findings are likely to have little impact on those charged with keeping an eye on the jailed criminals.

“Reker was successfully rehabilitated,” the prison guard bluntly told Daily Mail Australia.

“He will not commit any further crimes.”

Brent ‘BJ’ Reker died in prison after making repeated attempts on his own life

The 35-year-old was found dead in his cell at Ravenhall Correctional Center in December 2019.

He was behind bars after being taken into custody for alleged bashing, described as a revenge attack over the release of nude photos of his girlfriend Tara Egglestone online.

Prison staff feared the notorious bike boss was staging a mass self-harm incident with fellow inmates in the days before he was found dead in his cell.

That fear led to Reker being transferred from a specialist mental health unit to another part of the prison just an hour before he died.

He was found hanging in his prison cell after making repeated attempts on his life.

A prison source told Daily Mail Australia prisoners routinely threatened to harm themselves.

‘They use it as a means of payment. “Give me some pain relief, or I’ll cut the boss into pieces,” the guard said.

Most have no problem following through on their threats, causing horrific damage to their bodies with the tiniest bits of metal.

Reker had also swallowed pieces of metal in the hope that guards would not transfer him to a specialized unit for difficult prisoners.

“They’ll cut both arms in no time and bleed to death everywhere,” the guard said.

“We just stand there and talk to them quietly until we think they’re going to pass out.”

Reker was incarcerated at Ravenhall Correctional Center in Victoria (pictured)

Reker was incarcerated at Ravenhall Correctional Center in Victoria (pictured)

Ravenhall prison staff were fed up with Reker's attempts to cause trouble

Ravenhall prison staff were fed up with Reker’s attempts to cause trouble

Inmates have been known to forge weapons in prison (stock image)

Inmates have been known to forge weapons in prison (stock image)

Some prisoners who are taken to hospital have been known to immediately tear out their stitches upon returning to prison.

‘It’s terrible to see… but you become desensitized to it. Next time we’ll just let them get bandaged up and not even bother taking them back to the hospital,” the guard said.

Prisoners threaten to commit suicide every day, while those who attempt and survive get downtime with a prison psychiatrist.

Although briefly kept under observation, troubled prisoners are immediately returned to the general population, where the vicious cycle begins again.

Reker was so feared by prison doctors that his move to the special ward came without a psychiatric assessment.

A Justice Assurance and Review Office investigation into his death found that moving Reker to another part of the prison was ill-conceived and contrary to the original plan.

The coroner heard there was a perception the biker boss had influence over other prisoners and had orchestrated plans for a mass self-harm incident.

In body-worn camera footage of his final moments, guards saw Reker collecting photographs before swallowing a small object left by a trader with a glass of milk in self-harm.

Prison staff alleged that Reker (center) had influence over other prisoners

Prison staff alleged that Reker (center) had influence over other prisoners

Reker would shed blood to get what he wanted.  But his threats to commit suicide were not idle

Reker would shed blood to get what he wanted. But his threats to commit suicide were not idle

Last year, another prison whistleblower told Daily Mail Australia that prison management had Reker’s blood on its hands.

“He was a huge, huge suicide risk. He attempted suicide several times while in Melbourne Assessment Prison, which is a maximum security prison run specifically for people with mental health issues,” she said.

Reker’s one-year-old son Saint had to undergo surgery just days after Judge Christopher Beale revoked his bail and sent him back to jail.

“He made it very, very clear that any chance he got when he was alone, he was going to kill himself,” she said.

At the time of his death, Reker was in talks with the Finks to leave the club, find legitimate work and had even started removing his tattoos.

The former employee claimed Reker should never have been transferred from the Melbourne Assessment Prison to the medium-security Ravenhall Correctional Centre.

“Ravenhall is great in theory, but a lot of the staff are very young, very inexperienced and it’s not very well run compared to what it could be,” the whistleblower said.

In the days before his suicide, Reker complained that he was bored and warned prison staff that he would harm himself because of a canceled dental appointment.

“Should we make an effort to get what we want?” he said to a guard.

Reker later told a prison doctor that he and other prisoners all planned to “dismember” if their demands were not met.

The court heard Reker was desperate for a job in prison and threatened violence if he did not get his way.

Fed up, prison bosses agreed to move Reker to a unit away from other prisoners.

This time his threat to commit suicide was not a bluff.

The coroner will announce his findings at a date to be determined.

A spokesperson for Victoria’s Department of Justice and Community Safety said it has measures in place to reduce the risk of self-harm and suicide by prisoners.

“We know that people in custody are more likely to suffer from mental health problems and that any attempt at self-harm is distressing,” they told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We take these risks very seriously and that is why we have extensive training, procedures and mental health support in place to de-escalate incidents in the prison.’

“Staff are trained to identify vulnerable and high-risk prisoners,” the spokesperson said.

‘People in custody who are identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm at any time will be assessed by a mental health professional within two hours of identification.’