Valerie Horton

Queensland Corrective Services to combat overcrowded prisons

AS MARYBOROUGH'S Correctional Centre remains dangerously overcrowded a spokesman for Corrective Services Minister Jo-Ann Miller said an announcement to combat the problem was imminent.

The spokesman wasn't able to divulge on plan details but he said the Palaszczuk government was finalising the announcement with Cabinet.

A Queensland Corrective Services spokesman confirmed there were 582 prisoners incarcerated at the MCC as of June 26, with the centre having a capacity of 500.

The spokesman also confirmed an incident at the centre earlier this month.

"There was one prisoner- on-staff assault at the Maryborough Correctional Centre on June 19," the spokesman said.\

"There was no reported injury - a prisoner pushed a custodial officer."

Before the election Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders laid blame at former Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and said the centre was a "powder keg" due to the dangerous overcrowding.

But Mr Saunders has insisted he was fighting for improved safety and the Labor government had a plan.

"What I was fighting for was us getting more staff here and bringing the staff-to-prisoner ratio up," he said. "The minister did say to me the other day they are working on a plan for the overcrowding."

Last week it was announced eight newly graduated corrections officers would be sent to the MCC. Legislation could also be assessed and sentences changed to reduce the number of people entering prison.

"We can look at some sentences that people are sent to jail for," he said.

He also flagged the expansion and refurbishment of other prisons and allowing a prisoner transfer program to "take the burden off the officers here".



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