Women prisoners at the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre, Gatton.
Women prisoners at the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre, Gatton.

How women prisoners are improving post-cell life chances

WOMEN prisoners are studying hairdressing, furniture making and hospitality in a bid to improve their chances of success when released back into the community.

Two years ago, Southern Queensland Correctional Centre, in the Lockyer Valley, transitioned to a female facility and Serco has been driving positive outcomes for the women there ever since.

SQCC Director Nick Rowe said this important milestone provided a great opportunity to recognise the efforts of all staff who have gone above and beyond to deliver positive outcomes for the women in our care.

"The team have achieved a lot in this time. The support provided by staff throughout the women's rehabilitation journeys ultimately helps improve their chances of success when released into the community," Mr Rowe said.

As part of the rehabilitation and reintegration strategy at SQCC, Serco's team have delivered more than 127,000 hours of industry employment, more than 77,000 hours of education, and more than 75,000 hours of vocational training, seeing more than 270 qualifications gained by the women.

In a letter to Mr Rowe, a prisoner wrote that their life had been enriched by her experience at SQCC and thanked Serco for making the transition to a new facility so easy.

"We are grateful for all of the opportunities that Serco has given us to grow and become better people," the prisoner said.

"There are a variety of job opportunities … some offer the opportunity to do Certificate II or III courses, which gives us the skills to gain employment upon release."

Some of the internal training and education programs on offer include hairdressing salon services, hospitality, furniture making, fitness, rural operations and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Arts. The women are also able undertake external courses including Tertiary Preparation Pathway qualifications and Diplomas in Science and Arts.

Announced this month, the second stage of the prison facility is expected to start shortly, providing 1000 additional beds for prisoners.

A new industry partnership with Australian Framing Solutions has seen the women developing new skills in metalwork and fabrication through the manufacture of steel frames and roof trusses, creating an employment pathway once they are released into the community.

Serco has developed and implemented a holistic rehabilitation and reintegration strategy with a focus on preparing prisoners for release.

"All our programs aim to impart vital lessons and equip the women with skills they need to successfully integrate back into the community. These range from emotional, behavioural, physical health and wellbeing, family-based issues or self-esteem," Mr Rowe said.

"Providing the women with pro-life skills to ensure they are able to become the best versions of themselves and contributing members of society is at the heart of what we do."



Teen flown to hospital after Warwick crash

Premium Content Teen flown to hospital after Warwick crash

The two-vehicle collision left the teen with multiple upper body injuries.

WHAT’S ON: 5 unmissable Warwick events this weekend

Premium Content WHAT’S ON: 5 unmissable Warwick events this weekend

Sports club parties, homegrown markets, unique art exhibits and more. Here’s your...

HAIDLEY’S EXPANSION: Residents divided on development

Premium Content HAIDLEY’S EXPANSION: Residents divided on development

A museum for the historic coach fleet and more is on the cards for the Warwick...