Responding to COVID-19 in correctional centres and community corrections

 

Custodial Operations

 

How are correctional centres responding to COVID-19?

Revised 21 December 2021

QCS is committed to reducing the risk of COVID-19 to employees and people in our care. Steps have been taken to ensure compliance with public health directions in all correctional centres, including to implement standard precautions of social distancing, careful cleaning of surfaces, hand hygiene practices, and coughing and sneezing etiquette.

A four-stage plan guides correctional centres’ response to COVID-19. As the risk of COVID-19 increases or decreases over time, centres may move up or down through the stages, and centres across the state may be in different stages depending on health advice.

Stage 1.  Only excludes visitors to QCS prisons if they present with one or more of the risk factors, including flu like symptoms, have recently returned from overseas and/or visited or travelled through a declared hotspot or other locations as advised by Queensland Health.

Stage 2.  Visitors who meet vaccination, screening and temperature check requirements can continue to access QCS prisons and will be managed in accordance with the custodial COVID-19 SAFE Plan.

Stage 3. Only essential QCS, Queensland Health, emergency services and critical visitors (with Commissioner approval required) will be granted access to correctional centres.

Stage 4. Is a full or partial lock down of prisons. This involves all prisoners being secured in their cells and movement within the facilities restricted.

Please be aware that outside of any stage changes, visits may be temporarily suspended to deal with local outbreaks and contact tracing. QCS asks for your patience and understanding as we prioritise protecting those in our care and custody.

 

Community Corrections

 

How are Community Corrections managing offenders during COVID-19?

Revised 24 December 2021

QCS is committed to reducing the risk of COVID-19 to employees and people under community supervision. Steps have been taken to comply with public health directions, including to implement standard precautions of social distancing, careful cleaning of surfaces, hand hygiene practices, and coughing and sneezing etiquette.

A three-stage plan guides Community Corrections’ response to COVID-19. As the risk of COVID-19 increases or decreases over time, Community Corrections may move up or down through the stages, and offices across the state may be in different stages depending on health advice.

Stage 1. Adopt social distancing principles, undertake screening of offenders and adjust operational activities on a case-by-case basis to reduce likelihood of infection.

Stage 2. Staff to wear surgical face masks when conducting in person engagement with offenders and external services. Increased use of videoconferencing to facilitate reporting where appropriate and reduce exposure.

Stage 3.  Cease direct employee and offender contact except to manage high risk persons or situations. Maintain service delivery via remote operations.

 

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