Prison work program

Low risk prisoners can perform community work in regional areas as part of prison work programs.

This initiative began  in the 1990s when low risk prisoners were sent to Charleville, Western Queensland, to help clean up after significant flooding in the region.


Only low security prisoners are considered for a work program. Some prisoners may not be eligible because they:

  • have been convicted of a sexual offence
  • have outstanding court matters
  • are subject to extradition at the end of their sentence.

Work performed

Participation in a work program allows prisoners 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
    • showgrounds
  • building and restoring structures in public spaces, such as picnic tables in community parks.

The Annual Warwick Gold Cup Camp Draft and Rodeo

The Warwick Rodeo is an example of a prison work program. The rodeo is one of the world’s biggest horse events, where competitors from all over Australia gather to compete for a single trophy. It takes place annually on the last full weekend in October.

The Warwick Work Camp has supported the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society since 1995 by:

  • providing assistance at major events
  • maintaining the showgrounds throughout the year.

Four weeks before the rodeo, up to eight women help with painting, mowing, gardening, and cleaning around the showground. They also work alongside other community volunteers in both the volunteer and public canteens in food preparation, under the supervision of approved supervisors and our staff.

Applying for a 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.

The project must be:

  • sponsored by a not-for-profit group or government agency
  • 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.

Work camp locations

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


Far Northern Region
(aligned to Lotus Glen Correctional Centre)