QCS update – Restrictions eased from Monday 21 September

Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) has advised that, as of today (Monday 21 September), restrictions have been eased in a number of correctional centres and Community Corrections offices.

Access to prisoner clients

However, there are some ongoing disruptions due to court priorities and a backlog of matters following the period of Stage 4 restrictions in a number of south-east Queensland centres. QCS says that centres have been working hard to facilitate as much access as possible and as quickly as possible.

Current restrictions

Below is an outline of what the current restrictions mean for each centre in terms of professional visits and prisoners attendance at court:

Stage 3 restrictions

  • Arthur Gorrie CC
  • Brisbane CC
  • Wolston CC
  • Brisbane Womens CC
  • Southern Qld CC
  • Borallon Training CC
  • Escort & Security Branch (including PAHSU)

In-person professional visits suspended.

New reception prisoners, and any prisoners who leave a centre to attend court in person will be isolated for 14 days upon their return to QCS custody.

Prisoners who are isolated will be unable to attend in-person legal visits, but will be provided access to in-cell legal telephone calls (to the greatest extent possible), and will be able to attend court video links.

QCS Sentence Management Services will continue to liaise with court staff to request video links in lieu of personal appearance for all prisoners that this applies to. If the court requires the prisoner to appear in person, this will be facilitated.

Stage 2 restrictions

  • Maryborough CC
  • Woodford CC
  • Helana Jones CC
  • Numinbah CC
  • Palen Creek CC

In-person professional visits permitted with all visitors subject to temperature checks and health screening questions upon entry to a correctional centre. Each centre has a COVID-safe plan relating to the facilitation of professional visits.

The wearing of face masks as approved personal protective equipment is mandatory for all QCS staff or approved visitors to Stage 2 centres.

New reception prisoners and any prisoners who leave a centre to attend court in person will be isolated for 14 days upon their return to QCS custody.

For prisoners who are in a period of isolation, they will be unable to attend in-person legal visits, but will be provided with access to in-cell legal telephone calls (to the greatest extent possible), and will be able to attend court video links.

QCS Sentence Management Services will continue to liaise with Court staff to request video links in lieu of personal appearance for all prisoners that this applies to. If the court requires the prisoner to appear in person, this will be facilitated.

Stage 1 restrictions

  • Lotus Glen CC (& low custody)
  • Townsville CC (Mens, Womens & low custody)
  • Capricornia CC (& low custody)

In-person professional visits permitted with all visitors subject to temperature checks and health screening questions upon entry to a correctional centre. Each centre has a COVID-safe plan relating to the facilitation of professional visits.

Where social distancing cannot be achieved between a prisoner and their professional visitor, the centre will provide the visitor and the prisoner with a flat surgical mask, which is required to be worn.

A COVID health assessment will be conducted on all prisoners upon reception; prisoners are not required to be isolated unless on Queensland Health advice.

Community Corrections regions

The latest health advice has also resulted in a relaxation of restrictions in Community Corrections offices as follows:

Stage 1:

Community Corrections offices in Central, Northern and Far Northern regions

Stage 2:

Southern Region (except Ipswich and Inala) Community Corrections offices

South Coast, Brisbane and North Coast Region Community Corrections offices

Stage 3:

Ipswich and Inala Community Corrections offices.

The QCS website has been updated and includes the latest version of the QCS hot spot response plan.

If members have any concerns or wish to relay any feedback to QCS, please contact the QLS Legal Policy team by email to policy@qls.com.au.

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