Healthy prison report
The Office of the Chief Inspector was established in July 2005 as an added layer of transparency and accountability. The office conducts inspections and reviews at every correctional facility in the state to ensure that correctional facilities are operated safely and efficiently.
These inspections and reviews are based on the concept of a healthy prison which was first set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO). These standards have been adapted to Queensland and the standards are regularly updated. The WHO standards are accepted internationally as the benchmark for custodial environments.
It rests upon 4 key tests:
Prisoners, even the most vulnerable, are held safely.
Prisoners are treated with respect for their human dignity.
3. Purposeful activity
Prisoners are able, and expected, to engage in activity that is likely to benefit them.
Prisoners are prepared for release into the community, and helped to reduce the likelihood of re-offending.
Correctional centres are measured against these outcomes:
- Appropriate steps are taken to ensure that individual prisoners are protected from harm by themselves and others.
- Prisoners are treated with respect for their dignity while being escorted to and from prison, in prison and while under escort in any location.
- Prisoners are held in conditions that provide the basic necessities of life and health, including adequate air, light, water, exercise in the fresh air, food, bedding and clothing.
- Prisoners are treated with respect by centre staff.
- Good contact with family and friends is maintained.
- Prisoners’ entitlements are accorded them in all circumstances without their facing difficulty.
- Prisoners take part in activities that educate, develop skills and personal qualities and prepare them for life outside prison.
- Health care is provided to the same standard as in the community.
- Appropriate steps are taken to ensure that prisoners are reintegrated safely into the community and where possible into a situation less likely to lead to their further involvement in crime.
The Healthy Prison Handbook set out a number of detailed standards of performance required of correctional centres and outlines the inspection process employed by the Office of the Chief Inspector in applying the “Healthy Prison Test”.
The standards are used to assess each correctional centre’s performance against the Test. They are grouped according to specific areas of a centre’s operations which contribute in some way towards one or more of the outcomes listed above – for example, ‘Arrival in custody’, ‘Duty of care’, ‘Good order’, ‘Activities’ and ‘Resettlement’.
Areas and outcomes
A ratings system is applied to each area and outcome.
|1||Performing well against the inspection criteria. There is no evidence that outcomes for prisoners are being adversely affected in any significant areas.|
|2||Performing reasonably well against the inspection criteria. There is some evidence of adverse outcomes for prisoners in only a small number of areas however there are no significant concerns.|
|3||Not performing sufficiently well against the inspection criteria. There is evidence that outcomes for prisoners are being adversely affected in many areas or particularly in those areas of greatest importance to the well being of prisoners. Problems / concerns, if left unattended, are likely to become areas of serious concern.|
|4||Performing poorly against the inspection criteria. There is evidence that outcomes for prisoners are seriously affected by current practice. There is a failure to ensure even adequate treatment of and / or conditions for prisoners. Immediate remedial action is required.|
Whole of centre performance
The results for each area and outcome are then used to determine a “whole of centre” rating:
|1||The centre is performing strongly against the Healthy Prison Test. There is strong performance across all areas / outcomes. Weaknesses, if any, are considered minor.|
|2||The centre is performing well against the Healthy Prison Test. There is good performance across most areas / outcomes. There are some weaknesses but either they are not considered significant or if they are significant, they exist only in a small number of areas.|
|3||The centre is not performing sufficiently well against the Healthy Prison Test. There is below standard performance across several areas / outcomes and significant weaknesses exist across several key areas. If left unattended, they are likely to become areas of serious concern.|
|4||The centre is performing poorly against the Healthy Prison Test. There is poor performance across most areas / outcomes. There are many significant weaknesses. There is inadequate treatment of and / or conditions for prisoners. Immediate remedial action is required.|
Recommendations: risk ratings and responsibility
Recommendations are given a high, medium or low level of priority.. The implementation of high and medium priority recommendations is monitored by the Office of the Chief Inspector via its program of follow-up inspections.
Low priority recommendations are considered “housekeeping” issues, and the centre’s General Manager is responsible for implementing these at the local level.
|High||Represents a major risk that if not resolved it will have a significant adverse impact on outcomes for prisoners. Where practicable, requires immediate remedial action.||Directorate/Centre. Chief Inspector to monitor implementation via a follow-up inspection process.|
|Medium||Represents a moderate risk that if not resolved it has the potential to have a significant adverse impact on outcomes for prisoners. Where practicable, requires remedial action in the short to medium term (i.e. within 3-6 months).||Directorate/Centre. Chief Inspector to monitor implementation via a follow-up inspection process.|
|Low||Represents a minor risk that if left unresolved it may have an adverse impact on outcomes for prisoners. Requires remedial action in the longer term (i.e. within 6-12 months)||Centre. General Manager to implement. Not subject to monitoring by the Chief Inspector.|
Full announced and follow-up inspection reports
Copies of full-announced and follow-up inspection conducted by the Office of the Chief Inspector reports have been made available. Some information has been edited because the disclosure of such information may impact on the privacy of an individual, jeopardise the security or order of a corrective facility.