New watchdog for Queensland detention centres

Queensland will establish a new independent watchdog to provide greater oversight of the state’s detention facilities.

Shannon Fenitman

The Inspector of Detention Services, a position to be held by the Queensland Ombudsman, will have the authority to regularly or randomly inspect youth detention centres, prisons and police watch-houses.

The creation of the role comes in response to a range of reports into detention services in the state, including the Sofronoff review into the parole system; the Taskforce Flaxton review into corruption in Queensland prisons and The Independent Review of Youth Detention.

“The Inspector will report their findings to Parliament and make recommendations to ensure places of detention are managed well, and services support the general care, treatment and well-being of detainees,” justice minister Shannon Fentiman said.

The Inspector will have its own resourcing, staff and distinct powers and functions, including preparing and publishing standards in relation to the conduct of inspections, under legislation that passed on Monday.

“It is our hope that the establishment of the Inspector of Detention Services will foster continuous improvement for all places of detention and related services throughout Queensland,” Ms Fentiman said.

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