Intervention while in custody
When prisoners are placed in custody they are given opportunities to participate in interventions and services that will help them change their offending behaviour. These may include education, training or work opportunities.
These interventions can help break the cycle of reoffending, so that when prisoners are released from prison they can go on to live a crime-free life.
Offending behaviour programs
We deliver a range of programs to address criminal behaviour such as violence, sexual offending and substance-abuse-related offending.
Programs vary in intensity and prisoners are recommended for these programs based on:
- their offending history
- their risk of reoffending
- the level of harm associated with their offending.
All offender behaviour programs are voluntary.
After prisoners complete offending behaviour programs they may be recommended to participate in a maintenance program.
Maintenance programs give them the opportunity to refresh and strengthen the skills they developed during previous program participation.
Maintenance programs are targeted at prisoners who may be close to their release date.
Prisoners are assessed for their suitability to participate in programs. This assessment includes a range of factors including:
- the nature of their offences
- level of risk of reoffending
- how much longer they have to stay in prison
- the timing of the program
- their willingness to engage in the program.
We also assess prisoners’ reading and writing abilities, so they can be recommended for programs that maximise their chance of rehabilitation.
Not everyone is suitable for all programs. Some programs relate to a person’s offences and require offending behaviour to be acknowledged and disclosed. Prisoners may refuse to participate in rehabilitation programs, however, their refusal will be noted. Prisoners are encouraged to consider the benefits of participating in the programs and developing a crime-free lifestyle.
Prisoners are advised that Parole Board Queensland make decisions independently of Queensland Corrective Services and may take into account a range of factors when considering parole applications, such as steps taken towards rehabilitation and behaviour while in prison.
Vocational education and training
We offer a range of education and vocational training, which give prisoners skills to help them gain and maintain employment when released from custody. Before release, these vocational skills can lead to employment within prison industries, as well as delivering recognised qualifications to those already working within industries.
Education and training courses provided to prisoners are nationally recognised and accredited under the Australian Qualifications Training Framework.
Prisoners can access these categories of education:
- literacy and numeracy
- secondary education or its equivalent
- tertiary studies
- vocational education and training (VET).
All sentenced prisoners are expected to work while in custody. They can work in the prison kitchen and cleaning the accommodation units, or they can work in prison commercial industries, such as:
- laundry, textile and agricultural work
- making timber products and furniture
- making a wide range of metal products
- assembling, packing, painting, powder coating
- mechanical work.
Other prison support services
Other general support services are available to all prisoners in custody.
Pastoral care is available through chaplains and special religious visitors. We take reasonable steps to make sure you can observe your chosen religion in prison.
The State Chaplaincy Board coordinates chaplain prison visits.
Elders visitation program
Elders from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have regular access to support Indigenous prisoners.
Services for prisoners preparing to leave prison
If you are nearing the end of your sentence, we will help you plan for your release into the community by linking you to community-based services.
We have agreements with a number of service providers to assist the safe and successful re-integration of prisoners to the community. There are currently 3 re-entry service models:
CREST re-entry services
The Community Re-Entry Support Team (CREST) service is available in all male correctional centres (except Borallon Training and Correctional Centre), as well as in Townsville Women’s Correctional Centre.
CREST provide 3 levels of support:
In-prison information and referral services
Prisoners can request support from CREST in-prison staff to discuss their re-integration needs. Where possible helpful information will be provided and relevant referrals to external agencies can be made, which will support their release and re-entry back to the community. For example, prisoners can request support to gain suitable accommodation or medical treatment within the community.
Prisoners can ask correctional centre staff for guidance on making a request to speak to CREST.
This service is open to all prisoners including those on remand.
Post release managed services (PRMS)
This support is offered to eligible prisoners identified by Queensland Corrective Service staff. Once identified, a CREST worker will meet the prisoner to offer pre-release support and up to 3 months of post-release support. This is voluntary and the prisoner can decline the offer.
If support is accepted, CREST workers will work with the prisoner to create a re-entry plan around the prisoner’s identified needs. Once in the community, CREST will work with the prisoner and their community corrections officer to support their successful reintegration.
PRMS involves linking prisoners with relevant supportive agencies and organisations in the community as well as providing a level of motivational support while prisoners adjust to life in the community.
Parole support service (PSS)
Community corrections officers can request CREST support to help parolees who may need extra assistance at times of instability in the community.
Parolees can’t self-refer for this support, but they are encouraged to discuss any issues that may be hindering their ability to remain in the community with their officer.
MARA – Southeast Queensland women’s re-entry services
The MARA program is a gender-specific service based on a trauma-informed approach. MARA is the Maltese word for ‘woman’.
The MARA Project operates in Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre, Numinbah Correctional and Helena Jones Correctional Centre. It provides the following services.
The inreach service is based within correctional centres and helps prisoners make contact with external agencies who can assist them in re-entering the community.
This is an open-access service, available to all prisoners including those on remand.
Prisoners can request (via correctional centre staff) to speak with a MARA inreach worker about their needs and what support options are available upon or before release.
For women released at short notice, MARA work with centre staff to support their immediate needs upon release.
The MARA project can also provide more in-depth pre and post-release support to some women exiting prison into the South East Queensland area.
Outreach support begins in prison, with detailed re-entry planning that is very much driven by the woman and her needs.
Support can start up to 3 months before release and, depending on the needs of the women, can follow through to the community for up to 6 months after release.
Outreach support includes linking women to services available in their communities and to support organisations that help women coming up for release create strong supportive relationships with agencies such as the Department of Housing and Child Safety.
Access to the outreach service can be discussed with MARA inreach workers in the correctional centres.
Borallon Training and Correctional Centre (BTCC) has a focus on developing the skills and knowledge of prisoners in order increase the likelihood of employability upon release.
The Borallon Throughcare team works with prisoners to create a ‘pathways plan’, which identifies training needs but also addresses areas of the prisoner’s life where further support may be required upon release.
Prisoners in BTCC are advised individually of support available to them with the Throughcare team. Prisoners can also ask to speak to a Throughcare officer to discuss their options.