Email and EFT transfers introduced into Queensland prisons

 

Prisoners across Queensland can now receive email from friends and family, and electronic funds transferred into their accounts, fulfilling a significant recommendation of Taskforce Flaxton.

Email increases the security of prisons by reducing the opportunity for the introduction of contraband through physical mail and provides families with another way to contact prisoners.

Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin APM said the COVID-19 pandemic response required the cancellation of personal visits to Queensland prisons, and Queensland Corrective Services fast tracked the introduction of prisoner email to provide another communication channel for prisoners.

“The introduction of email and EFT for prisoners addressed Recommendation 26 from the Taskforce Flaxton report, strengthening the barriers to contraband entering prisons,” Commissioner Martin said.

“With the new service, email is sent to the prison, where it is printed off and provided to prisoners after being vetted by officers, in the same manner that mail is presently screened.

“Prisoners do not have access to computers with internet access, but if a reply is requested, the prisoner is given a reply sheet to write a response. This is then scanned by officers and emailed to the recipient.

“These are difficult and challenging times for us all, but this is another example of how we are adapting and ensuring prisoners continue their rehabilitation and reintegration while ensuring the safety and security of our centres.

“The ability for prisoners to connect with family and friends, and access money for phone calls and buy-up items is important for prisoner rehabilitation and reintegration back into the community.

“It also reduces the potential impact COVID-19 has on our prisons – it is important every step is taken to prevent COVID-19 from entering the Queensland correctional system.”

Deputy Commissioner Organisational Capability James Koulouris praised the work of the Offender Information Systems team in expediting the implementation of email and EFT.

“QCS has partnered with Unilink to give family and friends a method of communication with prisoners and the ability to put money in prisoners’ trust funds through a new secure payment service,” DC Koulouris said.

“The ability for prisoners to receive money into their accounts also contributes to reducing possible corruption risks, further supporting the report. Prisoners can only access their trust account funds to make phone calls and buy a limited list of goods from the buy-up service.

“The introduction of these services also embodies the five key principles of Corrections 2030 – safety, excellence, empowerment, respect and accountability.

“Families and friends can find more information including associated costs by visiting www.emailaprisoner.com.au for sending emails and www.secure-payment-services.com.au for transferring money.”

ENDS

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