Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said prison populations change over time.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said prison populations change over time. Alistair Brightman

Overcrowded Maryborough city jail at flashpoint

PRISON officer predictions of violent strife in Maryborough Correctional Centre are coming true as tensions explode in the overcrowded jail.

Earlier this month an officer, who wished to remain anonymous, said the prison capacity was 518.

The current population was at least 550, but the officer tipped it to reach 600 as prisoners were made to double-up in cells due to overcrowding.

The officer said tensions were high and there were not enough staff to cope with the influx of prisoners.

On Boxing Day the Chronicle reported on a man being stabbed and prison cells set alight.

The 21-year-old was stabbed in a fight between two prisoners - just days after two fires put the jail into lockdown.

He was taken to Maryborough Hospital for treatment to a wound in his upper back, and is in a stable condition.

In the past, several correctional officers told the Chronicle a dangerous situation was imminent and some feared for their safety.

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said prison populations changed over time due to a range of factors.

"In Queensland, all prisons have the ability to use short-term 'surge capacity' which includes double cells and trundle beds," he said.

Mr Bleijie said the government committed more than $40 million to additional works for Queensland Corrective Services in the 2013-14 Budget.



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