QCS keeps connections open despite COVID-19

Officers from Brisbane Correctional Centre (BCC) have pioneered use of Bluetooth technology to create a simple yet effective solution to a difficult problem.

As part of QCS’ response to the prevent COVID-19 entering prisons in Queensland, a 14-day isolation period has been introduced for all new receptions in prisons across the State.

This isolation made it difficult for prisons to provide access to phone calls for new receptions, but BCC officers identified a simple solution to deliver a safe and effective result which has now been rolled out state-wide.

Chief Superintendent Darryll Fleming, State Correctional Operations Centre (SCOC) said that the Reception and Isolation period could be an uncertain and anxious time for prisoners if they couldn’t provide up-to-date information to families and legal representatives.

“It was identified early on that prisoners’ access to phones was unable to be facilitated during the 14-day isolation process,” Chief Superintendent Fleming said.

“BCC officers offered the solution of Bluetooth headsets for prisoners to make and receive calls from within their cells during this isolation period.

“Officers are able to maintain control of the phone at all times with physical contact between all parties limited. This is a safe and efficient solution to what was a challenging problem.

“SCOC reviewed the BCC initiative and determined that this option was suitable for trial and implementation across all centres.

“QCS continues to progress a longer-term solution that will link the existing Prisoner Telephone System (PTS) with cordless in-cell access.

“Both the short and long-term solutions will improve outcomes for prisoners and increase the safety of prisons.

“I commend the lateral thinking demonstrated by BCC officers to help solve what was an issue affecting all high security prisons using an easily accessible, cost effective solution,” Ch Supt Fleming said.

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