Maryborough prison has more inmates than ever before
MARYBOROUGH Correctional Centre now houses more prisoners than it has ever held at one time since it opened in 2003.
And the number of inmates serving time at the facility has been gradually climbing over recent years.
The centre is designed to accommodate 500 inmates, but the last time the Fraser Coast Chronicle was able to report fewer inmates than that was in 2013.
In June, 2013, there were 499 inmates at the facility.
But by December of that year, the number had risen to 541.
Fast forward to January 2015 and there were 589 inmates behind held there.
This month the number of inmates hit 632 and the number has fluctuating around that mark.
Queensland Corrective Services has acknowledged the steep climb.
"The prisoner population at Maryborough Correctional Centre has reached its highest levels in 2017," a QCS spokesperson said.
With the overcrowding problem felt at prisons across Queensland, planned development gives QCS optimism that some stress would soon ease.
"The built-cell capacity of the Queensland correctional system will increase when an additional 244 cells at the Borallon Training and Correctional Centre are re-commissioned following safer cell design changes in the first half of 2018," the QCS spokesperson said.
"In addition, $200 million has been allocated by the State Government to increase the built capacity of the Capricornia Correctional Centre by 164 cells.
"The Government has also allocated $1 million to develop a business case for a 328-cell expansion at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre."
Shadow Corrective Services Minister Tim Mander said that overcrowding would not have happened in the first place if the LNP was in power.
"The LNP had a $61 million plan to build over 650 new cells - a plan that was scrapped by Labor when they were elected," he said.
"Sadly, our prisons have turned into fight clubs under Annastacia Palaszczuk because of massive overcrowding and no plan to fix the problem.
"Our hard-working prison staff don't deserve to be treated as punching bags."