New detention oversight arrangements in Queensland
03 Jul 2023
News, Inspector of Detention Services
The Inspector of Detention Services Act 2022 (IDS Act) has now fully commenced.
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.
Preparing for inspections
A key function under the IDS Act is the preparation and publication of standards for carrying out inspections. The publication of these standards will make an important contribution to consistent and transparent inspections.
To help develop effective standards, the Inspector invited public comment on proposed standards for prisons and youth detention centres in February 2023. More than 26 government and community organisations provided submissions about the inspection standards.
“My thanks to those who have provided feedback and comments on standards. I expect to publish comprehensive Queensland standards for prison inspections and youth detention inspections in July 2023,” said Mr Anthony Reilly, Ombudsman and Inspector of Detention Services.
"The development of the standards also considered a range of information including the Human Rights Act 2019, relevant international instruments and existing inspection standards in other jurisdictions."
“I also want to thank existing detention inspection services in other Australian states for their support in our development phase. This has included allowing our officers to join inspectors in four other jurisdictions to observe their inspection processes and practices.”
What is the inspection process?
The process to undertake an inspection has five stages:
- Plan and prepare (includes information gathering about the service to be inspected)
- Engage with detainees
- Conduct onsite visits at the place of detention
- Complete analysis and prepare the report
- Provide the report 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.
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.
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