Prisoner characters - prison staff

Prisoner characters - prison staff

A list of all prison staff at the Wentworth Detention Centre in the television series "Prisoner".

Listed in order of appearance:

* Erica Davidson (Patsy King - episodes 1-454), the prison's governor. Davidson was a former barrister with political connections and notable events during her Governorship were the arrival of her niece on drug charges, her doomed romance with dodgy businessman Andrew Reynolds and her kidnap at the request of inmate Andrea Hennessey. A few months after her resignation she returned - working for the department itself - and was highly instrumental in investigating and eventually stopping the first corrupt regime of temporary governor, Joan Ferguson.
* Vera Bennett (Fiona Spence - episodes 1-224), the acid-tongued senior prisoner officer aged and embittered beyond her years by caring for her demanding invalid mother. She believed that Erica's and Meg's progressive methods were wrong, and that the prisoners needed discipline and authority. Her nickname was "Vinegar Tits". Although she was harsh, she was not corrupt like her successor Joan Ferguson. She left after a failed romance with officer Terry Harrison to become Governor of Barnhurst prison, and she was referred to in later years - still Governor of Barnhurst in the final year of the series.
* Meg Jackson (Elspeth Ballantyne - episodes 1-692), one of the prison's senior officers. Born in a prison herself, Jackson was often sympathetic to inmate needs, hoping to rehabilitate the prisoners, though she was no pushover. The departures of inmates Bea Smith in September 1983 and Lizzie Birdsworth in February 1984 left Meg as the show's only remaining original cast member. Meg continued until the end of the series, making her the only main character seen through the show's entire run. Meg had a huge rivalry with corrupt guard Joan "The Freak" Ferguson, which stemmed from Meg's stint in Wentworth as a prisoner. (Meg sensed that The Freak was corrupt and it was proven.) Meg was also friendly with fellow guards Colleen Powell and Joyce Barry. She was eventually joined by her son, Marty, who shared his mother's compassion.
* Greg Miller (Barry Quin - episodes 1-110), handsome prison doctor who had had a relationship with inmate Karen Travers years before she was imprisoned at Wentworth.
* Anne Yates (Kirsty Child - episodes 1-29), a corrupt officer who does favours for the prisoners in exchange for cash. Is forced to resign after being caught selling contraceptives to Marilyn Mason. She is subsequently admitted to Wentworth as a prisoner in on drug charges. Despised by the other prisoners she hides from them in a laundry dryer, and dies of suffocation after Vera slams the door shut not realising Yates was hiding inside.
* Jean Vernon (Christine Amor - episodes 14-56), a young, idealistic social worker appointed welfare officer at Wentworth. The character is written out with little explanation.
* Joyce Barry (Joy Westmore - episodes 29-692), usually friendly but somewhat ineffectual officer who eventually marries the prison chef Mervin Pringle (Ernie Bourne). Possibly best remembered for her kidnap at the hands of vicious Lou Kelly, the brutal bashing at the hands of femme fatale Eve Wilder and her comic moments including her tap dancing classes and her ineptitude.
* Jim Fletcher (Gerard Maguire - episodes 40-256), the prison's male deputy governor, a stern, authoritarian ex-army man who had a tendency to fall in love with some of his more attractive charges.
* Colleen Powell (Judith McGrath - episodes 48-456), a senior prison officer who rose to prominence after Vera Bennett's departure and was deputy governor for much of Ann Reynolds' administration. She was fair-minded, but had a sarcastic, dry sense of humour. The inmates gave her the nickname 'Po-Face'. Colleen was hard but fair and left a few months after a car bomb intended for Officer Rick Manning killed her family.
* Ted Douglas (Ian Smith - episodes 61-382), the pompous, generally disliked representative of the Department Of Corrective Services, forever visiting Wentworth to demand that governor Erica Davidson increase security. A partnership with elusive criminal Lionel Fellowes eventually led to his unceremonious downfall.
* Paul Reid (George Mallaby - episodes 85-130), a liberal-minded social worker who also has problems at home thanks to his wayward son Tony (John Higginson).
* Jock Stewart (Tommy Dysart - episodes 114-258), a sinister, vicious officer who bullies the women. Murdered Sharon Gilmour sparking a long running storyline where Judy Bryant strives for revenge.
* Agnes Forster (Lois Ramsay - episodes 135-140), a dotty old lady who arrives as a social worker, and seems more interested in her cat Butchie and drinking tea than actually doing any work. Sometimes, her advice would cause more stress on the prisoners than not. A prime example was with Doreen Anderson, which nearly led to her suicide.
* Stuart Gillespie (Wynn Roberts - episodes 160-168), a stern departmental overseer who comes to inspect the running of the prison and antagonises both inmates and officers with his officious attitude.
* Sid Humphries (Edward Hepple - episodes 169-222), an elderly man who works as a part-time handyman at Wentworth and develops a romantic attachment with inmate Lizzie Birdsworth.
* David Andrews (Serge Lazareff - episodes 171-194), a teacher who arrives at Wentworth to run a new educational facility for the women.
* Terry Harrison (Brian Hannan - episodes 199-223), a male officer and old friend of Jim Fletcher's who is transferred to Wentworth and becomes romantically involved with Vera Bennett.
* Janet Conway (Kate Sheil) - episodes 232-274), a newly trained officer who had previously spent time in Wentworth as a remand prisoner twelve years before.
* Steve Faulkner (Wayne Jarratt - episodes 245-316), handsome male officer, frequently accused of sleeping with some of the women. His attempt to bring about the downfall of Joan Ferguson leads to his resignation.
* Ian Mahoney (Peter Curtin) - episodes 257-274), brought in to help the inmates with a printing press project. After a brief flirtation with Meg, he becomes romanticly involved with Janet Conway and they both eventually leave Wentworth to become married.
* Joan Ferguson (Maggie Kirkpatrick - episodes 287-692), a sadistic and corrupt lesbian prison officer known to the prisoners as "the Freak". Infamous for the body searches she conducts using her trademark black leather gloves. She was perhaps the most corrupt and villainous guard at Wentworth (even more so than Vera Bennett) and she had an arch-rival in senior guard, Meg Morris (Jackson) who saw Joan as she always had thought she was, when Meg was a prisoner herself. She also had a rivalry with prison governor Ann Reynolds. Joan spent two long stints as Acting Governor - both times she implemented a severe regime that alienated herself from both prisoners and officers alike. One of those regimes was stopped by her former superior, Erica Davidson. She also had a tendency to antagonize her fellow guards, and was once soundly slapped in the face by Joyce Barry after she insulted her fiance, Mervin Pringle.
* Neil Murray (Adrian Wright - episodes 305-320), a male nurse who takes over medical duties at Wentworth and develops a sinister attachment to inmate Chrissie Latham.
* Ann Reynolds (Gerda Nicolson - episodes 364-692), who replaced Erica Davidson as governor of the prison. A former social worker, she was a progressive governor, who believed in rehabilitation. She had a rival in Joan Ferguson, whom was Acting governor in her absence, and she instituted two severe regimes, which angered both prisoners and staff, one of which was stopped by Ann's predecessor, Erica Davidson. Ann suffered breast cancer during her run as Governor, failed romances with the hermetic Wally Wallace and bikie preacher Dan Moulton and kidnap and persecution at the hands of an angry relative of an ex-prisoner that led to famous Episode 500 cliffhanger.
* Scott Collins (Tim Elston - episodes 383-418), a new handsome prison doctor who is secretly in love with prisoner Petra Roberts.
* David Bridges (David Waters - episodes 408-417), a male officer who is sensitive to the women's problems to the point that he begins to systemically "set them free" with the prisoners assuming that he is helping them to escape. His intentions are rather more sinister, as the elderly Lizzie Birdsworth discovers in an end-of-season cliffhanger episode...
* Rick Manning (Andy Anderson - episodes 421-458), a tough male officer who had previously been in the police force.
* Stan Dobson (Brian James - episodes 425-513), an elderly prison officer who worked at Wentworth before his retirement. Stan later returned to Wentworth as a general handyman.
* Jonathan Edmonds (Bryan Marshall - episodes 448-455), a psychologist granted permission to conduct research at Wentworth, whose activities take a sinister turn when they involve experiments in mind control through hypnosis.
* Dennis Cruckshank (Nigel Bradshaw - episodes 457-560), a Yorkshireman who had worked in borstals in England before arriving at Wentworth as an officer.
* Heather Rodgers (Victoria Nicholls - episodes 461-484), a well-meaning but naive "rookie" officer straight out of training school.
* Pat Slattery (Dorothy Cutts - episodes 473-690), who takes over Joyce Barry's role in the series as a well-meaning but incompetent background officer.
* Len Murphy (Maurie Fields - episodes 493-511), a former officer at Woodridge men's prison, Len was a sinister, murderous male counterpart to "The Freak".
* Mervin Pringle (Ernie Bourne - episodes 523-691), prison cook well liked by the women. Fell in love with and married officer Joyce Barry.
* Pippa Reynolds (Christine Harris - episodes 539-604), Governor Ann Reynolds' spirited, fashion-conscious daughter who teaches an art class at Wentworth and starts a tempestuous relationship with lawyer Ben Fulbright.
* Terri Malone (Margot Knight - episodes 540-576), bisexual young officer who temporarily became Joan Ferguson's live-in lover.
* Steve Ryan (Peter Hayes - episodes 592-628), a well-meaning doctor who secretly conducts research at Wentworth posing as a general handyman and subsequently falls in love with young Julie Egbert.
* Bob Moran (Peter Adams - episodes 595-620), a tough Vietnam veteran who was a temporary stand-in for Ann Reynolds in the governor's chair.
* Marty Jackson (Michael Winchester - episodes 625-692), the son of Meg Jackson, who had followed his mother into the prison officers' profession and shared her compassionate attitude towards the women. (Note: The character of Marty Jackson had appeared in the series on two previous occasions. He was played by Ronald Korosy during the opening episodes and by Andrew McKaige for two stints during the 1983 run.)
* Rodney Adams (Philip Hyde - episodes 630-692), a sneaky, self-serving trainee officer, generally despised by both prisoners and staff.
* Delia Stout (Desiree Smith - episodes 630-679), dedicated trainee officer who harbours a secret crush on colleague Marty Jackson.
* Pamela Madigan (Justine Saunders - episodes 653-668), a social worker and old friend of governor Ann Reynolds.
* Ernest Craven (Ray Meagher - episodes 665-672), the evil governor of corrupt high security prison Blackmoor.
* Tom Lucas (John McTernan - episodes 687-692), maverick teacher who arrives at Wentworth to tutor the women, forming particular friendships with prisoners Merle Jones and Kath Maxwell.

See also

*Prisoner characters - Background Prison Officers
*Prisoner characters - Inmates
*Prisoner characters - Miscellaneous

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