Overcrowding, workplace health and safety issues at correctional facilities

Posted January 8, 2014 by Together Queensland

There’s concerns overcrowding is an ongoing problem at Queensland’s correctional facilities.

It follows unconfirmed reports of assault allegations at a correctional facility in Queensland’s south east before Christmas.

“Workplace health and safety and overcrowding are ongoing concerns,” Together Secretary Alex Scott said.

The employer has been notified of the concerns.

“We have a number of workplace health and safety concerns as well as some reports of prison food shortages, shortages of chairs and tables and plumbing system coping problems,” Mr Scott said.

There are also reports some prisoners are being accommodated in the watch houses.

Our members are highly trained professionals who take community safety seriously, as well as the safety, safe environment and rehabilitation of prisoners along with workplace health and safety. These professionals are not easily replaced.

While Queensland’s good prison security record is acknowledged, the Council of Australian Governments has previously reported the escape rate in open custody centers increases with the rise in prisoner numbers.

It’s a matter of public record that prison overcrowding has been troubling Queensland’s correctional facilities since at least September 2013.

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission recently recommended Mareeba’s Lotus Glen facility south west of Cairns to reopen some wings as a result of overcrowding.

The media also earlier reported Prisoners Legal Aid also has concerns about prison overcrowding.

 


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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