Prisoners give back to community by building national park toilets
Lotus Glen Correctional Centre (LGCC) prisoners have built a number of pre-fabricated toilets for placement in remote spots in national parks, providing much-needed facilities for the community while also gaining useful work skills.
LGCC General Manager Michael MacFarlane said the kit structures were built as part of the prison industries program, which plays a vital role in improving the safety and security of centres by providing prisoners with meaningful employment as a part of structured day.
About 40 prisoners took part in constructing the kits, overseen by 10 trade instructors.
“For many prisoners, this is the first time they have had a daily routine which includes being gainfully employed.
“It provides a high level of theory and practical training for the prisoners, providing vocational skills which help them reintegrate into the community on release and improve their chances of avoiding reoffending when they are released from prison.
“We know from international research that when prisoners are released into the community and have stable accommodation, social support and employment opportunities, they have the best chance of not reoffending, which makes the community safer for everyone,” Mr MacFarlane said.
Department of Environment and Science Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) Regional Director, Northern Region, Alison Webb said the kit toilets had been valuable additions to parks such as Rungulla National Park near Forsyth and the Wairuna section of Girringun National Park south of Mt Garnet, with more planned at other sites.
“Our national parks offer visitors the chance to experience natural wonders in often remote locations, but people’s needs still have to be met and these kit toilets are designed to be easily transported and re-assembled in such areas.
“The working arrangements with LGCC have been most beneficial in respect to quality of workmanship and aesthetics of the completed product in our landscape settings.
“LGCC demonstrated a preparedness to work with local QPWS staff in the development of the kits, which led to a great outcome,” Ms Webb said.