CHANGEOVER: The inside of the Southern Correctional Centre prior to its opening in 2011, which then housed male prisoners.
CHANGEOVER: The inside of the Southern Correctional Centre prior to its opening in 2011, which then housed male prisoners. Geoff Egan

Male prisoners transferred out to make room for females

A GOVERNMENT decision has resulted in the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre fulfilling its intended purpose this week as the first intake of female inmates were transferred to the Lockyer Valley.

The decision followed concerns about overcrowding at Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre, with fears the Labor Government had lost control of Queensland's prisons.

But Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said the move was part of continued investments that would deliver almost 2000 additional prisoner beds in Queensland prisons by 2021.

"Since 2015, the Government has made significant investments in expanding the capacity of our correctional facilities," Mr Ryan said.

"Converting SQCC to its original purpose will immediately end overcrowding for female prisoners."

It is a statement that Member for Lockyer Jim McDonald hopes is true and he plans to monitor the impact the facility has on the community to ensure it is a positive change.

"My interest is making sure the economic and social impacts from the jail are not negative and ensuring also there are enough beds in prisons to put offenders who have done the wrong thing," Mr McDonald said.

LNP opposition spokesman for corrective services Trevor Watts said it was vital the prisons were managed properly to ensure the safety of prisoners, prison staff and the wider community.

"To reduce the risk of reoffending, rehabilitation resources - including industry placements, jobs and educational opportunities - need to be increased in line with the prison population," MrWatts said.