Corrective Services Minister Joe Berinson says calls by the Opposition leader for a special inquiry into Casuarina Prison indicate an abysmal ignorance of the prisons system.
"The risk of an incident, especially a breach of security or a violent assault, is a matter of great concern, but it is, unfortunately, an inherent risk in any prison system," Mr Berinson said.
"I am extremely concerned by the attack yesterday, but it is a quite different issue from the other two incidents referred to by Mr MacKinnon, which involved one escape and the early release of a prisoner.
"These were due to teething problems with administration and security at a major new prison. As soon as the problems were identified they were attended to promptly and fully. A number of measures were put in place, including some which have not been publicised.
"The attack yesterday involves continuing police inquiries and the virtual certainty of very serious charges being laid. As a result, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage."
Mr Berinson said the very nature of the Casuarina Prison population meant there was a need for constant vigilance and review. This had been recognised from the outset, and all operations would continue to be monitored at a very high level indefinitely.