From the DG's desk by lindayy


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									                           From the
                           DG’s desk
                           with Director-General
                           Frank Rockett

                           Upon closer inspection
I visited the Princess Alexandra Hospital Secure Unit (PAHSU) in
Brisbane last month and was pleased to meet some of the team
who have driven significant changes at the facility.
The unit is part of the Escort and Security Branch (ESB), which
oversees prisoner transfers and escorts, and cell facilities and
other services at Brisbane Magistrates, Supreme and District           Touring Wolston Correctional Centre are, from left, Assistant General Manager Tamara
courts.                                                                Gacesa, Correctional Supervisor Brett Cross, Superintendent Au Lok-Wah, Prison Industries
                                                                       Manager Ross Copland, Clinical Psychologist Jessica Chan Ka Po, Chief Research Officer
There are more than 110 staff working in the ESB.                      Desmond Hui and Hong Kong Correctional Officer Chan Wing Ching

The branch, and particularly the PAHSU, have undergone
significant changes during the past 12 months.                         Hong Kong corrections visits QCS
A review of the secure unit last year resulted in a significant
                                                                       Four delegates from Hong Kong Correctional Services (HKCS) spent two
staffing increase, more permanent positions, an improved
                                                                       days touring Wolston Correctional Centre and speaking with QCS staff
supervisory structure and a more focussed, strategic direction.
                                                                       about offender rehabilitation and programs.
Infrastructure and processes are also changing to ensure
                                                                       HKCS Chief Research Officer Desmond Hui said the delegates learnt
increased security.
                                                                       first-hand about Queensland correctional practices, particularly ideas
These changes have been a long time coming - they are the most         for rehabilitation and criminogenic programs that could be used within
significant in the unit’s 14 year history.                             the Hong Kong correctional system.
Change can be difficult, but I was pleased to see staff have           Touring Wolston Correctional Centre with Assistant General Manager
embraced the changes, displaying a professional, team-                 Tamara Gacesa, the delegates were able to compare the structure and
orientated culture.                                                    conditions of Queensland’s correctional system with their own.
They should be proud of that achievement.                              Mr Hui said the facilities, programs and workshops of the centre were
Their ESB colleagues in transport should be equally proud of           very impressive.
their work - they coordinate a massive network of close to 10,000      “These workshops are much larger than ours, and we work only on
prisoner transports for court appearances, medical reasons,            tendered government contracts, not with private companies,” he
leave of absences and transfers across south-east Queensland           said.
each year.
                                                                       “Hong Kong prisoners must work six hours a day and are paid a small
They are admired for their work, services and infrastructure during    amount based on their level of skill.”
regular visits and inquiries from colleagues in other corrections
                                                                       Hei Ling Chan Drug Addiction Treatment Centre Superintendant Au
                                                                       Lok-Wah remarked on the differences in living conditions for prisoners
Courts staff have embraced the establishment of an onsite              in Queensland jails.
manager and appointment of court administration officers to
                                                                       “Hong Kong prisoners are accommodated in dormitories of between
assist with paperwork; their work is contributing to strong,
                                                                       10 to 40 beds, with no television and strict control over allowed
positive relationships with court staff and the judiciary.
                                                                       possessions,” he said.
Further proof of the success of the work of ESB staff came late last
                                                                       Hong Kong has 24 prisons with 11,000 prisoners.
year through an announced inspection by the Chief Inspector.
                                                                       Prisons are classified as minimum, medium or maximum security and
The inspection was highly positive, making particular mention of
                                                                       prisoners are housed according to their security classification, which
the attitude of ESB staff, the team’s high morale and their strong
                                                                       is determined by their sentence.
focus on prisoner care.
                                                                       Parole is used for low-level offences and prisoners with long sentences,
The report also confirmed that the branch is performing well
                                                                       who are eligible to apply for parole two years before their sentence
against the Healthy Prison Test.
There is a much greater sense of team within the ESB; I particularly
noticed it during my visit to the PAHSU.
ESB staff should be proud - I’m pleased to see that our links with
court staff and hospital staff have never been stronger.

Page 6 / CN April 2008
Stakeholders applaud ATSI strategy
An independent evaluation has shown widespread support for the
initial stage of Probation and Parole’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander (ATSI) strategy.
The strategy is seen as providing a strong foundation for diverting
Indigenous offenders away from custody to community-based orders
that offer greater prospects of long-term rehabilitation.
Independent consultant Michael Limerick was contracted by
Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) to assess the strategy’s impact
following the establishment of several new permanent Probation and
Parole offices in 2006.
He interviewed external stakeholders in Doomadgee, Mornington
Island, Normanton and Thursday Island.
In his report, Mr Limerick says stakeholders, including members of the
Judiciary, Elders of Community Justice groups and police officers, had                 At the new Aurukun office are, from left, Aurukun Government Coordination Project Director
an overwhelmingly positive attitude towards the ATSI strategy.                         Andrew Clarkson, Department of Communities Senior Business Support Officer Erinn
                                                                                       Wanna and Aurukun Probation and Parole officers Maurie Plant and Len Morrissey
“The consensus is that the establishment of new Probation and Parole
offices has led to a significant improvement in the delivery of services
in the four remote Indigenous communities,” he said.
The report’s conclusions are supported by QCS data which shows a                       The Weipa office is staffed by Emma Dewar and Dellis Gledhill who
decline in prisoner numbers from those areas.                                          supervise 54 offenders in the area.
There has been a corresponding increase in the numbers of offenders                    In a move supported by stakeholders, experienced Probation and
serving Probation and Parole orders since the establishment of                         Parole Officer Len Morrissey, who opened the Doomadgee office, was
permanent offices.                                                                     transferred to open the Aurukun office.
Rural and Remote Communities Project Manager Mike Stubbins said                        He has been joined by Maurie Plant and together they are supervising
the good results were partly attributable to the hard work of staff in the             83 offenders.
Lower Gulf and Torres Strait areas.                                                    Aurukun was previously visited twice monthly by Mareeba District
“A lot of what we are seeing in these areas is the result of staff                     Probation and Parole officers.
establishing constructive relationships,” he said.                                     The Aurukun office was established through the Aurukun Local
“They have devoted considerable time and effort to developing trust                    Partnerships Project (ALPP) which involves QCS, the Department of
with the courts and members of the community.”                                         Child Safety and Department of Communities.
The ATSI strategy has recently entered its second stage with the                       The ALPP is a State Government initiative to help locals make the most
opening of new offices in Weipa and Aurukun operating as part of                       of local industry opportunities, including the planned Aurukun Bauxite
shared services hubs with other Government agencies.                                   Project.

                                                               Community service work restores landmarks and pride at Palm Island
                                                               The success of several community service              “The foreshore area has suffered from years
                                                               projects initiated by Palm Island Probation           of neglect, but through the community
                                                               and Parole officers has led to a growing sense        service work, offenders will restore it to a safe
                                                               of community pride.                                   swimming area for locals to enjoy,” she said.
                                                               The officers were determined to create                “The offenders are also learning new skills
                                                               meaningful work for offenders which would             they can use elsewhere on Palm Island.”
                                                               deliver more than just mown grass, tidy parks         Local businesses have recognised the benefits
                                                               and weed free garden beds.                            for the community and are assisting.
                                                               Compliance Officer Michael Schilt said the            Airlines, Dreamtime Logistics and Skytrans,
                                                               projects involved extensive clearing and              are transporting plants and equipment to
                                                               restoration work at the airport, foreshore,           Palm Island free of charge and Skytrans has
                                                               cemetery and local parks.                             also agreed to donate a brushcutter.
                                                               “These projects are massive and a real turning        Negotiations with other businesses, both on
                                                               point within the community,” he said.                 the island and mainland, to provide services
                                                               “Offenders are receiving positive feedback            and equipment are continuing.
                                                               from their peers and it’s helping them keep           Palm Island Probation and Parole have
                                                               on track.”                                            committed to maintain the sites after the
                                                               Probation and Parole Northern Regional                projects’ initial stages finish in about 12
At the Palm Island airport project site are, from left, Palm   Manager Sue Noordink said suitable work               months.
Island Aboriginal Council CEO Barry Moyle, Palm Island
Community Justice Group Coordinator Selena Soloman,            sites were chosen following discussions with
Palm Island Community Justice Group member Rosina              local Elders, the Community Justice Group
Norman, and Probation and Parole’s Michael Schilt,             and the Palm Island Council.
Northern Regional Manager Sue Noordink and Community
Services Supervisor Malcolm Mabo

                                                                                                                                                  CN April 2008 / Page 7

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