The Bowen Women’s Work Camp has been praised as a “great contribution to the team” for their work at the Bowen branch of Meals on Wheels, maintaining the grounds and helping out in the kitchen.
Bowen Meals on Wheels treasurer Chris Storrie said the women from the work camp were hard workers who valued making reparations to the community.
“Having the assistance of the women from the work camp helps keep our operating costs down, which allows us to keep the cost of our meals as low as possible,” Ms Storrie said.
“Being able to provide our service at a reasonable price is important, because we do more than deliver meals – our service offers valuable social contact and an opportunity to check on the welfare of the people we deliver to.”
Peter Hall, General Manager of Townsville Correctional Complex, which manages the Bowen Work Camp, said working on local projects of benefit to the community helps the women develop new skills to help them reintegrate on release.
“It enables offenders to develop work and life skills and encourages a work ethic by engaging in regular work practices with a degree of self-responsibility,” Chief Superintendent Hall said.
“Importantly, it also provides reparation by engaging offenders in constructive employment on projects that enhance community life. I’d also note the women really enjoy that aspect of giving back to the community.”
The Bowen Work Camp is an 11-bed facility for mainstream women prisoners which helps prepare them for reintegration into the community.
They participate in community service projects that benefit local charitable and not-for-profit organisations while developing new skills and living in an open environment.
“Through the Women’s Estate project, QCS is changing the way women offenders are managed, taking into consideration women in the criminal justice system come from lives characterised by poverty, abuse, substance addiction and low education,” Mr Hall said.
“Turning around the life of women in our care has the potential to create a flow-on effect with a much bigger impact on the whole of society.”