There was a daily average of 7962 prisoners in Queensland, about 1800 more than the built-cell capacity.
There was a daily average of 7962 prisoners in Queensland, about 1800 more than the built-cell capacity.

Shocking stat that highlights jails’ revolving doors

THE number of criminals returning to Queensland jails has increased, with 42 per cent back behind bars within two years of their release, new figures show.

And one in 11 criminals was assaulted inside the state's jails last year, according to the Queensland Corrective Services annual report.

When including former prisoners who were released then sentenced to a community corrections order, in addition to those returning to jail, more than half of the criminals returned to QCS within the two-year period.

Two prisoners escaped from the low-security Numinbah jail. Picture: Mark Cranitch
Two prisoners escaped from the low-security Numinbah jail. Picture: Mark Cranitch

Prison authorities are battling to keep up with the soaring number of criminals inside Queensland jails, with a daily average of 7962 prisoners - about 1800 more than the built-cell capacity. But despite the overcrowding, the Government is yet to announce a new jail.

As a result of the ballooning numbers, employment for prisoners fell to 67 per cent last year, after bosses set a target of more than 75 per cent.

The report also said each prisoner cost $181.55 per day, or a cost to taxpayers of more than $500 million to house them last year.

About one in every 200 officers was assaulted by prisoners, the report said.

Together Union industrial services director Michael Thomas said "every indicator we are seeing is pointing to an impending crisis".

"Overcrowding is getting worse, incidents and assaults are continuing to increase, and the processes and programs in place to ensure prisoners don't reoffend are stretched to breaking point," he said.

"Our custodial officer members are telling us this is the worst they've seen it and significant action needs to be taken to increase capacity and ease the pressure."

The report said more than 750 parolees had been fitted with GPS tracking and monitoring devices.

In the past year, the Queensland Parole Board suspended 3611 parole orders, granted 1749, refused 768, amended 832, cancelled 1458, and lifted 427 suspended parole orders.

There were seven escapes from low-security facilities in the past year, with three at Palen Creek and two each at Capricornia and Numinbah jails.



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