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Prison work program

Low risk prisoners can do community work in regional areas as part of the Work Program.

The Work Program began in the 1990s when low risk prisoners were sent to Charleville in Western Queensland to help clean up after a flood.

Which prisoners can go to work camps?

Only low security prisoners are considered for the work program. Prisoners who have:

  • been convicted of a sexual offence
  • who have outstanding court matters
  • who are subject to extradition at the end of their sentence are not eligible.

What work do prisoners do as part of a Work Program?

Participation in a work program gives prisoners an opportunity to:

  • give back to the community
  • develop new skills
  • demonstrate good behaviour prior to release from prison.

Projects include:

  • maintaining fences around community infrastructure
  • lawn mowing and maintenance at public cemeteries, playgrounds and showgrounds
  • building and restoring structures in public spaces such as picnic tables in community parks.

Warwick Gold Cup Camp Draft and Rodeo – a yearly event

An example of a work project is the Warwick Rodeo. The Warwick Work Camp has supported the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society since 1995 by providing help at major events and throughout the year through upkeep of the showgrounds.

The Warwick Gold Cup and Rodeo is one of the biggest horse events in the world. Horses and riders gather at a single venue to compete under the same circumstances, with the same judge, for a single trophy. The Warwick Gold Cup is a truly national event with competitors travelling from all over Australia to compete. The event is run every year on the last full weekend in October.

Up to eight women help with manual labour work around the showgrounds by painting, mowing, gardening, and cleaning four weeks prior to the event. During the event the women prepare cakes, slices and sandwiches. They work in both the volunteer and public canteens where they use their organisational skills in food preparation, cooking and cleaning. The women work alongside other community volunteers under the supervision of approved community supervisors and our staff.

During the 2013 Rodeo, women from the camp completed 576 hours of community service work.

This included preparation prior to the event, actual work at the event and clean-up work afterwards. We expect that a similar level of aid will be provided by the Warwick Work Camp women for the 2015 event in October.

How can I get a Work Program project in my community?

If you have an idea for a community project, contact the correctional centre closest to the proposed site to talk about your proposal.

A proposal must have a sponsor organisation, which should be a not-for-profit group or government agency. Each project must be supported by the local council.

When developing your proposal, you should consider:

  • how the local community will benefit from the project
  • whether the work can be done by prisoners
  • how many hours work it will take
  • what supervision the sponsor organisation will provide.

The sponsor organisation must hold current public liability insurance and be able to provide any appropriate personal protective equipment.

We will consider each proposal for work program community projects on a case by case basis.

Where are the work camps?

There are 13 permanent work camps across Queensland:

Southern Region

(aligned with the Palen Creek Correctional Centre)

(aligned to the Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre)

St George


Central Region(aligned to the Capricornia Correctional Centre)


Northern Region(aligned to the Townsville Correctional Centre)

(aligned to the Townsville Women's Correctional Centre)

Julia Creek


Last updated
7 June 2017
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