Expansion closer with nearby prison overcrowded

THE Capricornia Correctional Centre remains overcrowded, but the business case for an expansion of the centre has been completed and an increase in safety funding rolled out.

Earlier this month the ABC reported prisoners at the overcrowded Capricornia Correctional Centre were concerned about an increase of sexual assault due to "friction among prisoners".

According to Queensland Correctional Services as of October 18 the Capricornia Correctional Centre was running at 126% capacity with 591 prisoners despite having only in-built 410 beds.

State Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne, who was the previous Minster for Corrective Services, supported a business case for an expansion of the centre and has passed the torch onto his replacement MP Mark Ryan, who said the project was still in the pipeline.

"I have received a thorough briefing from the Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner about prison capacity across Queensland's correctional centres, including Capricornia Correctional Centre," Mr Ryan said.

BEHIND THE WALLS: A person has stopped breathing at Rockhampton's prison.
BIT TIGHT: Capricornia Correctional Centre is at about 126% capacity. PAUL MILLER

Mr Ryan said he was pleased the business case for expansion had been completed and it would now be carefully considered.

"Addressing prison capacity and ensuring staff and prisoner safety are two of my key priorities," he said.

"That is why I am pleased the business case for the expansion of the centre has just been completed and will now be carefully considered."

Prison safety is also at the forefront of Mr Ryan's mind who said new measures will be put in place to attempt to increase security within the centres.

"This Government has also increased funding of $84.7 million to ensure the correct staff-to-prisoner ratio for safe and secure prisons," Mr Ryan said.

"To further ensure staff and prisoner safety, QCS is increasing the use of behaviour management strategies and trialling on-body cameras for officers, among other measures."