QCS launches virtual personal visits
Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) has launched a new virtual personal visits program to keep prisoners in contact with family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 23 March, Commissioner Peter Martin AMP, on advice from Queensland Health, suspended all personal face-to-face visits to prisons in Queensland to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering Queensland Correctional Centres.
QCS fast-tracked a pilot program using video conferencing technology at Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre over the past month, and the program is now being rolled out Statewide in coming weeks.
The program gives prisoners access to computer terminals in prisons and they can speak via video link to their family and friends while they are unable to receive visitors.
Commissioner Peter Martin APM said it was quick, innovative thinking of officers that has allowed for the program to roll out so quickly.
“As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, our officers have worked tirelessly to get programs like virtual personal visits operating in an expedient manner,” Commissioner Martin said.
“We understand that prisoners and families have been anxious since face-to-face visits were suspended, and we now have the ability to provide access to video conferencing facilities, which provides families another channel to keep in touch until the pandemic restrictions ease,” Commissioner Martin said.