In 2004, the Department of Corrective Services (DCS) supervises more than 16,000 offenders on a daily basis – 5260 in secure, open, and community custody and 11,468 on community supervision orders. We see ourselves as “Leaders in corrections: Partners in criminal and social justice”.
At that time Queensland was known as the Moreton Bay district of New South Wales, and it was later the same year that the First Commandant of the Moreton Bay penal settlement Lieutenant Henry Miller, soldiers and their families, and 30 convicts arrived at Redcliffe to establish the Moreton Bay penal colony.
In the years following, the penal establishment moved from Redcliffe to Brisbane, occupying various sites including Eagle St in 1825 (where Customs House now stands), and the barracks at the corner of Queen and Albert Streets in 1827.
The “Female Factory” was the first women’s gaol, built in Brisbane’s Queen Street in 1829 (at the site of today’s General Post Office). The first Brisbane gaol for males was built in Queen Street and it was not until 1860 that Queensland’s second gaol was built – this time for male and female prisoners – on Petrie Terrace. It accommodated 138 males and 36 females.
Brisbane’s Boggo Road gaol, HM Prison Brisbane, opened in 1883, initially intended to be a reception centre for male prisoners prior to transfer to the St Helena Island penal facility.
In December 1895, of the 587 prisoners in custody throughout Queensland, 538 were males and 49 were females.
By 1896 Queensland had established two penal establishments at St Helena Island in Moreton Bay and Townsville, nine prisons, (Brisbane, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Roma, Mackay, Blackall, Thursday Island, Normanton and Cooktown) and five police gaols (Fortitude Valley, Herberton, Ingham, Ayr and Charters Towers).
During that same year Queensland prisons were also implementing education programs for prisoners, by offering basic reading and writing classes.
Parole boards were established in 1937 and in 1959, the State’s first probation and parole office opened its doors in Brisbane’s Queen Street.
In 1957 the Wacol district was established as a “prison precinct” when HM Prison Wacol (later known as Moreton A) opened. The Security Patients Hospital (later known as Moreton Correctional Centre and then Moreton B) was established in 1971.
Today, the Department of Corrective Services employs over 3400 staff and supervises, on average, more than 16,000 offenders on a daily basis – 5260 in secure, open, and community custody and 11,468 on community supervision orders. There are now 13 prisons across Queensland (including two privately-operated), 33 community corrections area offices, and four community custody centres, including the men’s Work Outreach Camp (WORC) and the Women’s Community Custody Program.
There are seven independent Community Corrections Boards throughout Queensland.
The Department has an extensive range of education and rehabilitation programs, including a wide range of industries areas at each secure and open custody centre.
The Department strives to be “Leaders in corrections: Partners in criminal and social justice” contributing to one of the key priorities for the Queensland Government, “protecting our children and enhancing community safety”.