Working and education are key recommendations in the QPC report on Queensland's high rate of imprisonment.
Working and education are key recommendations in the QPC report on Queensland's high rate of imprisonment.

This is how much it costs to house one prisoner for a year

HOUSING one prisoner for a year in Queensland's overcrowded prison system costs taxpayers $107,000.

According to a damning report calling for sweeping change in the system, that cost doesn't include the addition estimated loss of $40,000 in the community for each person locked up.

The Queensland Productivity Commission's draft report on its inquiry into imprisonment and recidivism has made a number of recommendations to end the severe overcrowding of the state's high security prisons.

"In direct financial terms, imprisonment costs the Queensland community almost a billion dollars every year," the report stated.

"At the current rate of growth, Queensland will require an additional 4,600 to 5,800 additional prison cells by 2025-this will require around $5.2 to 6.5 billion in infrastructure costs alone."

Between 2012 and 2018, the number of prisoners in Queensland grew by 44%, amid decreasing crime rates.

The report noted the number of female prisoners has grown at a faster rate then male prisoners.

Queensland's primary high security women's prison, Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre, has been severely overcrowded since at least 2013, and was the subject of an Ombudsman report in 2016.  The ombudsman recognised it as the most overcrowded centre in the state.

In it's draft report, the QPC suggested increased reporting of crime, an increase in the use of prison sentences as punishment and a significant increase in the number of people on remand were among the reasons Queensland's prisons were close to bursting.

"Imprisonment is growing much faster than population-the rate of imprisonment in Queensland is currently higher than at any time since 1900,"  the report said.

"Reported crime rates have trended downward for the past two decades. Moreover, analysis suggests that the more harmful crimes have fallen faster than less serious crimes."

The QPC has now recommended removing some crimes from Queensland's criminal code to help slow the use of prison sentences as punishment.

If adopted, it would mean illicit drug offences and public order offences would not be part of the criminal code.

The recommendations also call for victims to be more involved in the judicial process.

You can read the full list of recommendations here.

The public has until April 17 to make submissions on the QPC's draft recommendations.

A final report will then be handed up to the Queensland Government on August 1.