Maryborough Correctional Centre.
Maryborough Correctional Centre.

Visitors locked out of M’boro jail … again

RECENT outbreaks of COVID-19 in parts of the country have resulted in personal visits at jails being suspended again until further notice.

The decision was made to ensure the safety of prisoners after advice from the Chief Health Officer (CHO).

Visitors had only been allowed back in the facility for less than a month after they had been suspended during May and June.

The increased restrictions impact all prisons from Maryborough to the NSW border.

All other visits, including from lawyers, will continue with appropriate social distancing.

Every person entering the prison will undergo health screening including thermal imaging, and new reception prisoners are subject to 14 day isolation protocols.

A Queensland Corrective Services spokesman said the suspension would be regularly reviewed in line with advice from the CHO.

"Where ever possible daily routines are going ahead as normal, although movements within prisons are kept to a minimum," they said.

"All prisoners, including those in isolation, have access to psychological services and health care."

A range of new ways for prisoners to keep in contact with their families has been introduced including prisoner email, prisoner voicemail and virtual personal visits.

Prisoners still have access to telephones and mail services as normal, and we are providing isolated prisoners with access to phone calls to legal representatives and families.

After dealing with tension in the prison in May during the last stint of coronavirus restrictions, correct services are prepared for any issues that may arise.

"Our officers are doing an excellent job in monitoring and managing increased tensions, and there are daily statewide meetings to evaluate emerging issues as the pandemic progresses," they said.

"We are working closely with the union and other significant stakeholders at this time to identify issues and develop solutions to maximise officer safety, and their input has been useful and productive."