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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic: Information for families of Prisoners in Queensland
All visits suspended at SEQ prisons: Stage 3 restrictions
Due to cases of COVID-19 in the community, all South-east Queensland prisons and Community Corrections districts from the NSW border up to and including Bundaberg have moved to Stage 3 restrictions.
As you may be aware, further cases of COVID-19 have been identified at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, following the notification of a positive case for a youth worker at that facility on Wednesday this week.
This latest development has meant Queensland Health is rapidly scaling up their contact tracing and testing of COVID-19 related to the latest cases.
Accordingly, as contact tracing and testing continues, on the advice from the Chief Health Officer (CHO), a large number of our centres and offices have moved to Stage 3 Restrictions.
Effective today (22 August) all South-east Queensland prisons have moved to Stage 3 Restrictions.
All personal and professional visits including legal, service provider and official visits have been suspended to the following Queensland prisons on the advice of the Chief Health Officer (CHO):
- Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre
- Brisbane Correctional Centre
- Borallon Correctional Centre
- Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre
- Southern Queensland Correctional Centre
- Wolston Correctional Centre
- Woodford Correctional Centre
- Maryborough Correctional Centre
- Numinbah Correctional Centre
- Palen Creek Correctional Centre
- Helana Jones Centre
Only essential workers including officers and Queensland Health staff will be permitted entry to these prisons.
Every person entering the prison will undergo health screening including thermal imaging, and new reception prisoners are subject to 14-day isolation protocols.
On advice from the CHO, all officers and essential workers entering these prisons must don a surgical face mask as PPE under the supervision of Queensland Health staff where they are unable to socially distance or are in close contact with a prisoner in excess of 15 minutes. This PPE will be provided by QCS.
Officers working in Escort and Security Branch are required to wear a surgical mask and gloves when escorting prisoners.
Community Corrections offices in Southern, South Coast, Brisbane and North Coast districts, as well as Hervey Bay and Bundaberg have also moved to Stage 3 restrictions.
This decision was made to protect the safety of our officers and the people under our care and supervision.
These arrangements will be updated as new advice is received from Queensland Health.
Contact the correctional centre to find out about other ways you can talk to a prisoner.
We now have thermal imaging in all our prisons:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are virtual personal visits?
A: Virtual personal visits (VPV) are now available at Queensland prisons to protect the health of prisoners, visitors and officers.
Our teams are working hard to roll out the program across Queensland to keep prisoners in contact with family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virtual visits are much like normal visits. You must be an approved personal visitor, provide identification, and book a time through the correctional centre.
Thank you to the friends and family who have helped to keep our prisons safe from COVID-19 since the cancellation of physical visits.
As this is a new program, there may be a delay in booking availability due to the demand for visits. We’re working to make sure everyone can virtually visit their loved ones as soon as possible.
For more information and to book, contact your correctional centre.
Q: What measures are in place to stop officers, essential staff and professional visitors from bringing COVID-19 into prisons?
A: We are temperature and health checking every person who enters a Queensland prison. This also includes those working at our centres such as correctional officers and health staff. All officers and essential staff have a role to play by observing social distancing when off shift, and not coming to work if they are unwell.
Q: How can I email a prisoner?
A: QCS has a new service to allow you to send messages to prisoners in Queensland correctional centres. Watch the video to find out how.[/vc_column_text]