The situation continues to improve in relation to COVID-19 issues for both adult correctional and youth detention centres.
An update of the status as at 9 September is:
Adult Detention/Correctional Centres
Currently, the only adult custodial correctional centre that remains at Stage 4 is Arthur Gorrie CC (AGCC). QLS is advised that virtual calls on a prioritised basis is the only avenue for prisoners from AGCC to appear.
We are further informed that COVID-19 testing has continued to return negative results and, provided that continues to be the case, AGCC should join all other adult correctional centres at Stage 3 from this weekend, except for Lotus Glenn CC, Townsville CC and Capricornia CC which remain at Stage 2.
In person appearances are possible from Stage 3 centres; however, prisoners returning to the centre must undergo 14 days isolation. Whilst possible, QLS understands that the production of prisoners from Stage 3 Centres for in-person court appearances are complex to navigate and should be avoided where appropriate.
The courts have indicated that, at this stage, members should presume that:
- Prisoners from Stage 3 Centres will be required in-person for all trials; but
- Will be dealt with by videoconference for sentences and other court events where an appearance is required.
NB: in every individual case, practitioners should make arrangements as directed by the presiding judge, where specified as the above is only a starting presumption.
Youth Detention Centres
Cleveland YDC has been offering virtual appearances for some time and the status of in-person court appearances will be reviewed this Friday, 11 September.
Brisbane YDC resumed virtual calls yesterday and the possibility of resuming in-person appearances in the week of 21 September will be reviewed next Friday, 18 September.
Senior representatives from Corrections and Youth Justice have expressed their gratitude for the consideration extended to them during this difficult time while continuing to acknowledge how essential it is for courts to continue to operate as normally as possible at this time.