You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Qld govt 'comfortable' with jammed prisons

AAP logoAAP 27/09/2016

Queensland's government has no plans to build more accommodation for women prisoners despite a report slamming overcrowding as contributing to unacceptable living conditions.

The Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre has been named as the state's most overcrowded prison in a report by ombudsman Phil Clarke.

Mr Clarke said there had been a significant increase in assaults, self-harm and suicide attempts at the facility.

He said Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) continued to double up prisoners in cells designed for one person, with pregnant prisoners required to sleep on mattresses on the floor.

However, QCS has said it revised its practices regarding pregnant women in custody since a 2013 ombudsman report, with expectant inmates always allocated a built bed and not compelled to share a cell.

Corrections Minister Bill Byrne said the problems in the latest report were well known.

"I'm comfortable with the level of service provided to Queensland prisoners, whether they're pregnant or not," he said on Tuesday.

He said $1 million would be spent on a new female prisoner reintegration program, but said the state could not simply build its way out of the overcrowding issue because even if a new facility was ordered no new cells would open for three years.

However, shadow attorney-general Ian Walker said the government had to act quickly and slammed Mr Byrne for dismissing the overcrowding as a comfort issue.

Mr Walker also said Labor had trashed the former Liberal National Party's proposal to convert the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre at Gatton into a women's prison, which would have helped address the overcrowding problem.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon