Region's prison well over capacity
THE region's prison has more bodies than beds, but an expansion may be on the cards in the future to relieve pressure on the centre.
Statistics provided by Queensland Correctional Services show both the Capricornia Correctional Centre and Queensland female corrective service facilities are above their prisoner capacity.
As of October 18, the CCC was running at 126% capacity.
Despite only having a built bed capacity for 410 prisoners, 591 were being kept at the facility.
The same statistics show 725 female prisoners were being accommodated in facilities around Queensland although the built bed capacity is 624 - a level of 116%.
Earlier this week a woman in custody appeared before the Rockhampton Magistrates Court and told the court she had been kept in the watchhouse for 12 days because there was no room for her in a correctional facility.
A Queensland Correctional Services spokesperson has denied the claim, saying, "neither Townsville Women's Correctional Centre nor Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre has refused to accept a female prisoner on the basis of the centre's current capacity within the past fortnight”.
Minister for Corrective Services and State Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne said a business case was well under-way to increase capacity at CCC.
"The business case for the expansion of the Capricornia Correctional Centre will be complete next month,” Mr Byrne said.
"Once this business case is complete the government will carefully consider the merits of moving forward with this project.
"As the State Member for Rockhampton, I am very keen to see the outcome of the business case for the expansion of the Capricornia Correctional Centre by 244 cells.
"If the expansion of this facility has merit, it would not only relieve the pressure on the correctional centre but it would also result in construction jobs and ultimately an increase in permanent positions here in Central Queensland.”
Mr Byrne said he was aware of the pressures on correctional centres including Capricornia Correctional Centre, but facilities were equipped to deal with additional prisoners.
"Prisons are a robust environment with a concentration of individuals who have committed serious crimes,” Mr Byrne said.
"I have been advised by the Commissioner of Corrections that the correctional centres are designed to accommodate the use of double ups in cells when the facilities are at capacity.
"In saying that, I will continue to work closely with Corrective Services in order to undo the chaos inflicted on the prison system in Queensland by the Newman/Nicholls Government.”