Date published 18 January 1991
Last reviewed 14 October 2022

On 18 January 1991 the Commission formally resolved to hold an Inquiry and conduct public hearings with a view to the investigation of allegations that officers currently and previously employed by the Queensland Corrective Services Commission (and the Prisons Department) had been unlawfully involved in their capacity as employees in the following activities: 

a) prostitution carried on by female prisoners
b) the supply of dangerous drugs to prisoners
c) fraudulent practices at Correctional Centres
d) escapes by prisoners and
e) corruption. 

Public hearings were held on 18 days over a three month period from 22 January 1991 to 10 April 1991. In all, 44 witnesses were called and a further 100 persons interviewed.

Oral submissions were received on 17 May 1991 to supplement written submissions received earlier. 

Public inquiry allegations prison service
Public Reports - Investigations
Allegations of significant corruption and drug trafficking within prisons were raised in Parliament concerning officers of the Queensland Corrective Services

The Commission makes the following recommendations: 

  • To minimize the possibility of inmates being pressured or obliged to carry out work, the manual for Financial Administrative Management of Farms and Industries, insofar as it extends the ambit of Commission Rule 28, be amended by ensuring that the guide-lines, which control work done by inmates on prison farms, apply to work carried out by inmates for Queensland Corrective Services Commission Officers and employees or their family members away from prison farms.
  • The practice (which has been discontinued) of the Prison Service which allowed, as part of the process of rehabilitation, inmates on leave of absence to reside with Correctional Officers, not be re­introduced.
  • All Queensland Corrective Services Commission Correctional Officers be made aware of the provisions of s.48 of the Corrective Services Act in relation to body searches and obtaining samples of breath and body fluids for testing for evidence of offences by prisoners.
  • In view of the continued presence of drugs within the correctional system, the Queensland Corrective Services Commission continue to monitor the adequacy of its measures to limit the introduction of drugs into Correctional Centres during visits.
  • In accordance with recommendations made to the Criminal Justice Parliamentary Committee, the Criminal Justice Act be amended to ensure that the Queensland Corrective Services Commission is a "unit of public administration" within the meaning of the Act.
  • Immediate consideration be given to ways in which correctional officers may be encouraged to understand the massive changes currently taking place in the correctional system and assisted to cope with the pressures resulting from such changes.
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