Inspectorate to provide oversight to detention facilities
Published Tuesday, 30 August, 2022 at 12:34 PM
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
The Palaszczuk Government has passed legislation to establish an Independent Inspector of Detention Services to provide greater oversight of Queensland’s detention facilities.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said the establishment of an Inspectorate highlights our commitment to improving detention services and upholding humane treatment and conditions of detainees.
“Once established, the Inspector of Detention Services will operate independently and have the authority to regularly or randomly inspect places of detention and review their services at any time,” Minister Fentiman said.
“This includes overseeing our youth detention centres, prisons, and police watch-houses.
“The Inspector will report their findings to Parliament and make recommendations to ensure places of detention are managed well, and services support the general care, treatment and well-being of detainees.”
The position of the Inspector will be held by the Queensland Ombudsman, with additional staff recruited to support the Inspector’s functions. The Inspector will have its own resourcing, with separate and distinct functions and powers.
The Attorney-General said a key responsibility of the Inspectorate would be the prevention of harm by examining the systems and experiences of people in detention.
“Let me be clear here – our criminal justice system remains focused on holding offenders to account and keeping the community safe,” Minister Fentiman said.
“This legislation strengthens the systems that oversee these facilities, ensuring they are managed well and operate effectively.
“Additional responsibilities of the role include preparing and publishing standards in relation to the conduct of inspections.
“It is our hope that the establishment of the Inspector of Detention Services will foster continuous improvement for all places of detention and related services throughout Queensland.”
The Palaszczuk Government’s committed to introducing the role of the Inspector of Detention Services in response to recommendations from a range of independent reviews including the Sofronoff Review, the Taskforce Flaxton report and the Independent Review of Youth Detention.
Media contact: Clare Barnes 0497 829 747