End of Qld's era of for-profit prisons

·1-min read

All of Queensland's prisons are again run at taxpayers' expense after a Crime and Corruption Commission report into two jails previously run by "profit-driven" organisations.

Two privately run prisons were flagged to return to public hands in the wake of the 2018 report, with the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre the last to make the switch.

Having a single operating model across the state was important to reach high standards in prison services, Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said.

"The government took the view that the best operating model for all centres in Queensland was public operation," he said on Wednesday.

"Public operation because of our staffing model, public operation because of consistency, but also public operation because we believe that is the model which delivers the best outcomes for employees, for the community and for those who are offenders in custody."

The 2018 report said the two prisons run by multinational, profit-driven corporations had their own ethical climate and "tone at the top".

"This marketised approach, where prisons are operated by private, profit-driven organisations, disconnects the state from direct responsibility for the delivery of privately operated prisons," the report said.

"This model creates challenges for the state in ensuring prisoners detained in privately operated facilities are treated humanely and have appropriate access to programs and services."

The same report found the entire prison system was overcrowded and susceptible to corruption, citing instances of staff supplying drugs or weapons to inmates, colluding to avoid searches and coaxing prisoners to bash fellow inmates.

The state's latest budget included $320 million to go toward expansion of the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre to increase prison capacity.

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