Extra staff to keep Queenslanders safe and rehabilitate offenders
The Palaszczuk Government will appoint up to 243 additional probation and parole officers over the next four years to toughen and tighten supervision of parolees, improve re-entry services and increase rehabilitation services for offenders.
“The Sofronoff review of our parole system has found it is ‘antiquated and emaciated’. We have accepted 89 of the 91 recommendations of the review and we have accepted the need to dramatically increase the investment in order to keep Queenslanders safe,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“To toughen and tighten supervision of paroles, we will need more staff across the State. We will recruit these frontline officers and give them the resources they need to keep Queenslanders safe.”
The Government will invest an additional $265 million over six years, and will include:
expanding rehabilitation, drug and alcohol and mental health treatment services in prison;
expanding substance addiction therapy programs across Queensland prisons, starting in North Queensland;
expanding re-entry services, targeting female prisoners; and
recruiting additional probation and parole officers.
Police and Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said the reforms were the most comprehensive in the history of probation and parole.
“These reforms will revolutionise the way prisoners are dealt with in prison and when they’re on parole,” he said.
“This is a watershed moment for Corrections in Queensland. What these reforms will ultimately do is increase community safety by increasing the rehabilitation of our prisoners once they have completed their sentence and are returned to the community.”
“For instance, before a prisoner is released on parole or probation, they will undergo intensive one-on-one case management. Prisoners will receive this close supervision while they are in prison and when they are released.
“Not only are we making sweeping changes to the way in which prisoners are dealt with, we’re creating jobs at a time when jobs and job security are more important than ever. We will boost the number of probation and parole officers.
“While the Palaszczuk Government’s stance on those doing the wrong thing has not changed – you commit the crime, you do the time – once their time in prison is complete, we want to see these people contributing to society and the communities they live in and not re-offending and impacting on the safety of our State.”