Borallon to stay shut despite prisoner surge

Borallon Correctional Facility to stay shut despite despite calls from the prison officers’ union for its return.
Borallon Correctional Facility to stay shut despite despite calls from the prison officers’ union for its return.

THE Queensland Government's tough stance on crime is seeing prisons fill up - fast.

But there are no plans to re-open the closed prison at Borallon, despite calls from the prison officers' union for its return.

In recent months the prison population has soared to almost 6500, a rise which is causing serious problems, according to Matilda Alexander of the Prisoners Legal Service.

She said her last visit to the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre in Wacol revealed the prison had 30% overcrowding.

"There were 224 people doubled up at that point," she said.

Union official Michael Clifford, prisons co-ordinator of United Voice Queensland, said Borallon prison should be recommissioned to accommodate extra prisoners.

"When you get people sleeping on the floor, then there needs to be a better solution," he said.

Shadow Correctional Services Minister Bill Byrne said if Borallon were to re-open, it would be an act of desperation by an administration losing control.

"For years the prison population had been steady at around 5500. There had never been 6000 inmates in Queensland's jails before Jarrod Bleijie became Attorney-General," he said.

"Now there are 6432 and rising.

"We are seeing worrying overcrowding at many of Queensland's prisons - a situation which places correctional staff at greater risk."

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said there were currently no plans to re-open Borallon prison.

"I am advised that there is capacity within our current operating facilities," he said.

"A bigger concern was the cost offenders were imposing on the community when they were not being punished appropriately.

"We are keeping the promise we made to Queenslanders that we would get tough on crime."

Topics:  borallon correctional centre prison

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