Annual report shows Queensland Corrective Services reforms are on track
Published Friday, 29 September, 2017 at 05:28 PM
Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan
Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said the 2016-17 Department of Justice and Attorney-General Annual Report, released yesterday, shows the department is working hard on its parole system reforms to deliver a safer Queensland, while responding to the demands of a growing correctional system.
“Late last year we saw a watershed moment for Queensland Corrective Services with the delivery of Walter Sofronoff QC’s review of the state parole system,” Minister Ryan said.
“The Sofronoff review was unequivocal: the most effective way to secure the safety of our community is by ensuring that offenders are successful on parole through structured supervision and rehabilitation.
“The Government has supported this six-year program of reform to Queensland Corrective Services, with a $265 million investment and a commitment to swiftly implement the recommendations.
“I am very pleased to report the reforms are well underway, with the establishment of a new independent professional parole board in early July and the implementation of GPS monitoring for parolees.
“QCS has commenced a number of significant projects as part of the reform, including the training of probation and parole officers, and the work to reform the management of prisoners through custody and onto parole.”
Minister Ryan said the QCS operational budget for 2016-17 was $835.361 million and has grown by $103.860 million to $939.221 million in 2017-18 in response to the demands of Queensland’s growth in prisoner and offender numbers, while improving the security of the State’s prisons.
“Queensland Corrective Services is tackling the challenge of a growing correctional system head-on – with short, medium and long term solutions – and the Queensland Government is delivering on its promise to ensure our prisons are staffed and supported to meet those demands,” Minister Ryan said.
“We have acted to ease capacity pressure with a number of infrastructure projects including the $200 million expansion of the Capricornia Correctional Centre – which is ahead of schedule – to deliver a minimum of 164 beds in residential accommodation, as well as additional facilities at the centre.
“The Government is delivering on its commitment to increase bed capacity in existing facilities with 1000 new bunk beds. An installation of 150 bunks at the Brisbane Correctional Centre is already underway, with further installations to occur at the Lotus Glen and Woodford Correctional Centres this calendar year.
“The Queensland Government will also deliver an additional 52 beds across 26 cells in the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre, at a cost of $16 million, and we are fully commissioning the remaining 244 secure cells, including the installation of bunks, at the Borallon Training and Correctional Centre by June 2018.
“Our long-term capacity options are under consideration, as we progress business cases for the expansion of the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct and the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre.
“The barrier controls at our facilities remain some of the strongest in the country – we continue to improve our security through the $76.579 million stage 2 security and perimeter upgrades at the Townsville, Arthur Gorrie, Woodford, Wolston, Maryborough and Capricornia Correctional Centres.
“We understand there is more to stopping the cycle of criminal offending and delivering a safer correctional system than just building more prisons.
“Every action taken in Corrective Services starts with safety, security and zero tolerance for violence in our prisons.
“While it is inevitable that violence can, and does, happen in prison, we are actively working to equip our staff with the training and resources they need.
“We have delivered additional body worn cameras for our publicly operated correctional centres, and the senior operational leadership of QCS is working constructively with the Together Union to implement additional strategies to prevent violence in our prisons.
“Let me be perfectly clear: the safety of our staff and the community is always a priority for the Queensland government and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety and effectiveness of our correctional system.”
Minister Ryan’s office: 07 3035 8300