The Minister for Corrective Services, Mark Ryan, today released the Palaszczuk Government’s response to the Crime and Corruption Commission’s Taskforce Flaxton report into corruption risks and corruption in Queensland prisons.
“I am pleased to announce today that the Palaszczuk Government supports or supports in-principle all 33 recommendations made by Taskforce Flaxton Report,” Minister Ryan said.
The Report provides a framework to reform QCS’ anti-corruption policies and practices to prevent, detect and respond to corruption and corruptions risks in correctional centres. Three key themes are identified to achieve this:
- Strengthening and maturing the QCS organisational structure,
- Enhancing internal and external oversight of correctional centres, and
- Building robust integrity and professional standards.
“QCS has already completed a high-level review of the organisational structure as recommended by Taskforce Flaxton.
“QCS has also taken steps to strengthen its ethical standards capability with the establishment of an Integrity and Professional Standards Command.
“The Report also acknowledges the corruption risks that overcrowding in prisons presents.
“The Palaszczuk Government has made significant investments to expand the capacity of our correctional facilities since coming to Government in 2015.
“Most significantly, in the 2019-20 State budget the Palaszczuk Government committed to delivering stage 2 of the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct.
“By 2023 the government will have delivered an extra 4000 beds.
“The Taskforce observed that Queensland’s hybrid prison system, with its mix of public and private operational responsibility, was not optimal.
“To address this risk, the Government has committed $111.4 million over five years from 2018-19 to transition Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre and Southern Queensland Correctional Centre to public operation,” Minister Ryan said.
From 2019-20, the Palaszczuk Government committed $25.2 million over four years to implement the recommendations of Taskforce Flaxton.
Our immediate priorities towards achieving a mature, corruption-resistant culture are to:
- commence implementation of a new organisational structure
- centralise key functions within the QCS Organisational Capability Division
- commence implementing a robust Integrity and Professional Services Command
- commence work on the amendments required to the Corrective Services Act 2006 to assist QCS to execute its duties to address corruption within the organisation; and
- continue work on the implementation of an independent inspectorate for places of detention.
Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin welcomed the government’s response, and said that QCS had already made major steps towards implementing many of the recommendations.
“As a top tier public safety agency, it is vital that we develop and maintain the capability required to prevent, detect and respond to corruption risks in our prisons.
“I would like to thank the Crime and Corruption Commission for their work in developing this vital blueprint for QCS, and the government for supporting the recommendations.
“One of the foundational responses to the report is the imminent release of Corrections2030, a 10 Year strategic plan for QCS which was developed with significant input from those who know our business best, our officers.
“Corrections2030 will provide a roadmap for the department as it transforms into a forward thinking, responsive agency which plays a critical front line role in keeping our community safe,” Commissioner Martin said.
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan