Sashi Cheliah won MasterChef earlier this week. Picture: Ten
Sashi Cheliah won MasterChef earlier this week. Picture: Ten

MasterChef winner spills on prison sex

MASTERCHEF winner Sashi Cheliah has spilt on what really goes on behind bars.

The 39-year-old prison officer from South Australia was asked on Studio 10 if he's heard of fellow officers hooking up with inmates.

"Definitely there have been cases like that," the father-of-two told the Studio 10 co-hosts.

"But as an officer, you have to draw a line. You can be friendly but they're not your friends.

"People can be very manipulative. They can talk you into things that you don't want to get involved … if you're not mentally strong you can get stuck into it very easily."

Cheliah, who works in a women's prison, was asked by Joe Hildebrand where the acts of intimacy take place.

"Not necessarily in the prison," Cheliah answered. "It can be outside also."

 

George Calombaris, Matt Preston, Sashi Cheliah and Gary Mehigan.
George Calombaris, Matt Preston, Sashi Cheliah and Gary Mehigan.

 

Cheliah's comments come a week after a whistleblower told Channel 9 that sex between prison officers and inmates is "commonplace".

"I saw a female prison officer with her skirt up around her waist with no underwear on top of an inmate with no clothes on," the whistleblower said.

They went on to claim that prison guards were also having sexual encounters with one another inside Aussie prisons and there is a culture of not reporting incidents, even if everyone knows about it.

After the claims were made public, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told 2GB radio that guards who have inappropriate relationships with inmates "did not have a place" in the prison system.

"These people need to be cleaned out of the system," he said on radio.

"They're supposed to be in a position of trust, but they don't have a place in a system where they're supposed to be enforcing the law; instead, they're acting outside of it.

"The victims of these crimes would be completely horrified to hear that they're leading this sort of life."

A task force to investigate the issue has been set up and NSW jails commissioner Peter Severin said he'd like to make it a criminal offence for a prison officer to have sex with an inmate.

"I want to do anything that will stop inappropriate behaviour from happening," he told The Daily Telegraph.

He is also open to the idea of medically reducing prisoner sex drives if available.

"If there are medically based options would I say no? No I wouldn't, no I wouldn't because I want to stop this behaviour from happening."

 

 

The entrance to the Adelaide Women's Prison in Northfield. Picture: Calum Robertson
The entrance to the Adelaide Women's Prison in Northfield. Picture: Calum Robertson