QCS officers #BreakTheBias

The theme for International Women’s Day on March 8 is Break the Bias, and this group of women are doing just that, stepping into the most challenging workplaces imaginable – high security prisons.

Not only do these officers work shoulder-to-shoulder with their male counterparts to manage and rehabilitate some of the most dangerous and challenging individuals in Queensland, they are on the frontline when things go wrong as part of Emergency Response Groups in prisons across South East Queensland.

Working behind the razor wire in Queensland’s high security prisons might seem like a traditionally male job, but women are walking the floor on the front line of public safety in increasing numbers, bringing their life experience and skills.

By the latest figures, Queensland Corrective Services’ workforce is nearly 45% female and we are proud that 49.6% of senior officers across QCS are women.

As well as being strongly represented in Community Corrections and specialist areas, increasingly women are taking up senior roles in Custodial Operations, from Assistant Commissioner through to Deputy General Managers across the State.

Lotus Glen, Townsville, Maryborough, Brisbane Women’s and Southern Queensland correctional centres – all high security facilities – are led by women General Managers, and increasingly women are working their way up the ranks as trainers, supervisors and managers across the State.

Of course, Custodial Operations is just one half of the corrections story.

The vast majority of prisoners will be released into the community at some point, and when they do, QCS is there to continue their rehabilitation and hold them accountable for their actions.

Many released prisoners are supervised by officers in Community Corrections under community-based orders. This equally important and in some respects more challenging part of corrections attracts a significant percentage of women officers.

These officers work collaboratively with our stakeholders to supervise and support offenders in the community to address the causes of offending, preventing further harm and turning lives around.

This International Women’s Day, we acknowledge and celebrate the work of all QCS officers in breaking the bias and making Queensland a safer place for everyone.