The Queensland Government has announced it will take control of the final two privately owned prisons in the state as it tries to reduce the number of assaults on staff.
Currently the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre and Southern Queensland Correctional Centre, two of 12 high-security prisons in the state, are run by private operators.
The Palaszczuk Government confirmed this morning it will transfer both facilities in to public control following the Crime and Corruption Commission’s Taskforce Flaxton Final Report, which revealed a staggering number of assaults on staff occurring in privately run prisons.
The move will cost an extra $111 million over four years but the government argues the investment is in the public interest.
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services Mark Ryan said the decision would have multiple benefits.
“The government is of the view that the transfer to public operation will lead to improved staff safety,” Minister Ryan said.
“The Taskforce observed that Queensland’s hybrid prisons system, with its mix of private and public operational responsibility, was not optimal.
“The government believes by providing QCS with full operational and day-to-day management control of all prisons and all employees, the transition will strengthen corruption resistance in Queensland prisons and improve overall integrity.
“Planning is already underway, and there will be extensive consultation with the private providers, staffing groups, industrial representatives and service providers to ensure the delivery of safe and secure prison services during the transition,” Minister Ryan said.
The state government said there will be more positions available and staff will be given priority to take up positions in the newly transitioned correctional centres.