Frequently asked questions

1. Who is the Inspector of Detention Services?

Anthony Reilly is the current Queensland Ombudsman and Inspector of Detention Services. 

Learn more about Anthony Reilly.

2. What is the Inspector’s role?

The focus of the Inspector is on the prevention of harm rather than responding to complaints when harm occurs. This preventative focus will examine the systems and the lived experiences of people detained.

The purpose of the of Inspector of Detention Services Act 2022 is to promote the improvement of detention services and places of detention: 

  • with a focus on promoting and upholding the humane treatment of detainees, including the conditions of their detention
  • preventing detainees being subjected to harm, including torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

The Inspector’s functions include:

  • Prepare and publish standards for carrying out inspections
  • Inspect places of detention (youth detention centres, prisons, work camps, watch-houses) 
  • Review and monitor detention services (including places of detention, health care and education services provided to detainees, and transport of detainees)
  • Report to parliament on each inspection and review (all reports will be publicly available) 
  • Report annually on operations (report tabled in Parliament).

3. What are detention services and places of detention?

Detention services including places of detention, health care and education services provided to detainees, and transport of detainees.

Places of detention are youth detention centres, prisons, work camps, community corrections centres and watch-houses.

4. What are inspection standards?

Inspection standards aim to ensure transparency in the outcomes that will be assessed during inspections. Each standard has a number of indicators which contribute to the Inspector’s assessment of how well a standard is achieved. These indicators are not an exhaustive list and are intended as evidentiary indicators of the extent to which the standards are met. 

The preparation and publication of these standards is required by the IDS Act. (s 8(1)(d)). The following standards are available:

Prisons Youth detention centres We are currently preparing standards for inspections of watch-houses.

5. What is the inspection process?

The process to undertake an inspection includes:

  • planning 
  • information gathering 
  • engaging with detainees
  • conducting onsite visit to the place of detention
  • analysing information and forming conclusions.
The inspection report is then prepared and provided to the Speaker for tabling in Parliament.

Based on the experience of independent inspectors in other jurisdictions, the full inspection process can take at least 12 months from planning through to provision of the report.

6. How often do you inspect places of detention? Is there a schedule of visits?

Under the IDS Act, the Inspector of Detention Services must:

  • inspect each youth detention centre every year:
    • West Moreton Youth Detention Centre;
    • Brisbane Youth Detention Centre; and
    • Cleveland Youth Detention Centre 
  • inspect each prison that is a secure facility at least once every 5 years. The current 14 prisons to be inspected are listed in Schedule 1 of the Corrective Services Regulation 2017.
  • inspect other places of detention prescribed by regulation at least once every 5 years. Currently these are the Brisbane City Watch-house and the Southport Watch-house (as prescribed in the Inspector of Detention Services Regulation 2023).
The Inspector has autonomous authority to decide which detention services to inspect and in what order.

We will publish information about which detention services are being inspected at the commencement of each inspection process.

7. When will the first report be published?

Based on the experience of independent inspectors in other jurisdictions, the full inspection process can take at least 12 months from planning through to provision of the report.

The Inspector’s report on every inspection will be public once the report is tabled in Parliament. Established independent inspectorates, such as Western Australia and New South Wales, also publish inspection reports.

8. Which places of detention are currently being inspected?

Cleveland Youth Detention Centre

Southern Queensland Correctional Centre

Murgon Watch-house

Cairns Watch-house

West Moreton Youth Detention Centre

9. Does the Inspector investigate individual complaints?

The Inspector’s functions do not include investigating individual complaints.

The Inspector can make recommendations aimed at promoting and upholding the humane treatment and conditions of people detained in these facilities, but cannot enforce that recommended changes are made.

Investigative functions remain the responsibility of other bodies such as, Queensland Corrective Services, the Department of Youth Justice, the Queensland Police Service, the Crime and Corruption Commission and the jurisdiction of the Coroner. Complaints about administrative matters can still be made to the Queensland Ombudsman.

Under the IDS Act, the Inspector is required to ensure the performance of its functions do not duplicate the functions of many other agencies. Many existing mechanisms are unchanged by the Act, such as Official Visitors under the Corrective Services Act 2006, Community Visitors under the Youth Justice Act 1992 and Public Guardian Act 2014, and the internal inspection services in both youth and adult detention settings. 
Last updated: Monday, 12 February 2024 9:50:34 AM