Should be banned from any interactions with prisoners
Minister for Justice Tony Kelly said there had been 30 reports of alleged assaults by custodial staff and eight alleged sexual assaults.
Responses to questions on notice from a Budget Estimates hearing also revealed drugs and alcohol have been a problem plaguing NSW jails over the past year.
Ten prison officers have been dismissed for drunkenness or disciplinary reasons in the past 12 months and three had their contracts terminated for drug use. A further 18 staff members were referred for alcohol counselling.
Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon called on Mr Kelly to disclose whether these allegations of assault were being investigated.
"There have been a disturbing large number of allegations of assaults and sexual assaults committed by prison staff on inmates in NSW jails," she said. "I have asked the Minister what investigations have been undertaken into these allegations. Where assaults have occurred surely all Corrective Services staff who have been involved in these attacks should be banned from any interactions with prisoners."
Opposition justice spokesman Andrew Humpherson said prison staff who allegedly committed the assaults should be punished.
"The fact there has been little action taken against staff for the alleged assaults suggests that the Government is happy to allow a culture of violence to be maintained in NSW prisons," he said.
"It's innocent citizens who will be the victims once these offenders are released from jail.
"There is a responsibility on government to ensure that the prison system is not creating hardened criminals who, upon release, will go and perpetrate further crime."