Prisoners help Fraser Coast prepare for flooding

Key principles: Safety, Excellence, Respect

TL;DR: Prisoners at Maryborough Correctional Centre filled more than 6000 sandbags to help the Fraser Coast prepare for storm season.

WDIMFM: Work programs increase the safety of correctional centres by focusing prisoner’s attention to meaningful work as well as assisting with rehabilitation

The Fraser Coast community is better prepared for cyclone season thanks to prisoners from Maryborough Correctional Centre (MCC) filling 6000 sandbags as part of their rehabilitation.

The timely project helps the community as well as giving prisoners the chance to learn key life and vocational skills which assist them to reintegrate into the community on their release and improve their chances of avoiding reoffending.

MCC General Manager Acting Chief Superintendent John Owens said this was the third year running that MCC prisoners had helped fill sandbags.

“It’s particularly important this year given the forecast La Nina conditions with higher-than-normal rainfall anticipated,” A/Chief Superintendent Owens said.

A/Chief Superintendent Owens noted that activities undertaken in prison industries, including the filling of sandbags, provided prisoners with meaningful employment as part of a structured day, which also improved the safety and security of the centre.

“For many prisoners, this is also the first time they have had a daily routine, which includes being gainfully employed.

“It provides practical training for the prisoners and is a meaningful way for prisoners to make reparations to the community and gives them a sense of purpose,” A/Chief Superintendent Owens said.

The sandbags have been distributed to Fraser Coast Regional Council and SES depots.

Queensland Corrective Services has a wide range of prison industries across the State, including manufacturing house frames, assembling camper trailers, manufacturing cattle handling equipment and fire safety devices for buildings.

International research shows that when prisoners are released into the community and have stable accommodation, social support and employment opportunities, they have the best chance of not reoffending, which makes the community safer for everyone.

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