The QCS Violence Prevention Strategy is a recently launched initiative with the aim of influencing the rate of violence and creating safe environments for staff, visitors, prisoners, offenders and the community.

The strategy will target four broad priority areas. These are:

  • Secure and functional work units
  • Communication
  • Staff support and training, and
  • Prisoner and offender management.

With our prisoner numbers continuing to increase, it is critical that we act to ensure this doesn’t result in increased risk to staff, other prisoners, and visitors. Similarly, the number of offenders under community supervision is also at a record high, requiring our Probation and Parole Service to function in an increasingly challenging environment to ensure the safety of staff, offenders and the community.

As part of the Strategy, violence prevention coordinators have been established in each secure correctional centre. Their role will be to oversee the development and implementation of activities at a local level, based on consultation with staff, prisoners and the community. Below, we introduce to you our violence prevention coordinators.

We encourage you to come up with some ways that you think we may be able to maintain the safety of the environments in which we operate. It’s important to remember that we all have a part to play in preventing violence.

Collectively, we can make a difference.

Sharon Gardiner

Woodford Correctional Centre

I have been employed with QCS for 17 years, having worked in a number of centres across the State. I spent the first seven years as a Custodial Correctional Officer (CCO) before moving into Intelligence at Woodford Correctional Centre.

While I am in the Violence Prevention Coordinator role, my primary goal is to enhance the safety of staff, prisoners and visitors at Woodford through the implementation of tangible strategies, creating positive lasting change.

Matthew Bridson

Lotus Glen Correctional Centre

I started with QCS as a CCO at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre (LGCC) in 2000. Initially, I worked at the farm, before moving to the secure centre in 2001. For the last five years, I have been acting as an Intelligence Advisor, prior to taking on the Violence Prevention Coordinator role this year.

I am looking forward to working with all staff to explore new avenues to prevent violence. We all have the same vision and a collective effort will add to the success of the Violence Prevention Strategy.

Kayla Levey

Southern Queensland Correctional Centre

I started my career in corrections as a CCO at Borallon Correctional Centre. In 2012, we transitioned to Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (SQCC), where I began acting as an Operational Supervisor before gaining a permanent position as Secure Accommodation Supervisor in 2014.

Staff and prisoners have the right to work and live in a safe environment, free from assaultative behaviours. I believe we all need to work together to successfully identify and conquer the factors that fuel violent behaviours.

Lynne McNairn

Wolston Correctional Centre

I joined the Scottish Prison Service in 1992 and held the role of prison officer from then until 2010, when I relocated to Australia.

During this time I worked with a broad range of offenders, from those on remand to those sentenced to life imprisonment. Whilst carrying out this challenging role, I have provided counselling, education, assistance, and normalisation to the lives of many troubled individuals within the Scottish penal system.

I believe the Violence Prevention Coordinator role provides an opportunity to find the ideal balance between offering goals for prisoners to work towards, encouraging and rewarding pro-social behaviour, and establishing swift and certain action for those who use violent behaviour. When combined, these strategies will allow us to work towards our ultimate desire of a violence free centre.

Megan Davies

Brisbane Correctional Centre

Since commencing with QCS in 2008, I have had exposure to various aspects of the agency, primarily as an Intelligence practitioner, but also including HROMU, Sentence Management and the Staying Safe initiative.

The Violence Prevention Strategy is a great platform for staff from a diverse range of backgrounds to collaborate and showcase the great initiatives and processes already in action across the state, in addition to coming up with innovative strategies to manage the contemporary challenges we face. My approach to the strategy is about maintaining a commitment to enhance safety through best practice, backed up by evidence-based research.

Colin Martin

Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre

With a background in the Australian Army, small business ownership and more recently corrections, I pride myself on adopting a thorough and organised approach to work. Similarly, in the role of Violence Prevention Coordinator at Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre (BWCC), I have sought to deliver a consultative approach to the design and implementation of a local action plan and evidence based initiatives.

I am confident that working with staff and managers as part of the Strategy will collectively reduce the number of assault-related incidents. We invite and encourage feedback and suggestions from all levels to inform this approach.

Cliff McNeice

Capricornia Correctional Centre

I have been with QCS at Capricornia Correctional Centre for five years. I am a CERT Team Leader and a Control and Restraint and Officer Safety Instructor, and have also been an acting Supervisor.

I am confident the Violence Prevention Strategy can achieve the changes to assist officers in achieving a safer work environment. To accomplish this, we need to look at improving the way prisoners are managed in prison, as well as developing a an effective response to ensure the security of the centre and the safety of staff.

Cassandra McMullan
Townsville Correctional Complex

I am the Violence Prevention Coordinator for Townsville Correctional Complex, having joined Townsville from LGCC for this role. I have been with corrections for seven years, spending this time as a CCO, acting Supervisor, and as part of the redevelopment team during the refurbishment works at LGCC.

I am passionate about officer safety and would love to see staff given more opportunities for education and development to deal with their daily duties in the challenging environment. This is a great opportunity to bring together what is proven to work at individual centres across the state.

Kevin Morgan

Maryborough Correctional Centre

My career in corrections started in the late 1990s as a CCO at the former Sir David Longland Correctional Centre (SDLCC), before moving on to Maryborough Correctional Centre.

Since this time, I have worked in many different roles across custodial operations. The most challenging and rewarding opportunity during this time was to work as part of a specialised team assigned to manage serious violent offenders at the former SDLCC.

I believe the role of Violence Prevention Coordinator is very important and its success will be determined by our staff working together. We must remember we all have a part to play to improve the way we look after each other and manage our core business.

Brenden O’Sullivan
Borallon Training and Correctional Centre

In 2004, I started with QCS at the Darling Downs Correctional Centre, before transferring to the Woodford Correctional Centre in 2005. At Woodford, I experienced many aspects of prisoner management, from escort and reception roles through to acting Supervisor roles in both accommodation and centre services, and was part of the ERG.

I commenced at Borallon Training Correctional Centre (BTCC) in 2016 as a Supervisor, and have now taken on the role of Violence Prevention Coordinator. My aim is to develop initiatives that prevent identified, centre specific, drivers of violence or violence-related issues.

Our initiatives need to be both innovative to fit the philosophy of the centre and robust enough to accommodate our projected future state after the redevelopment and subsequent commissioning of the remaining cells at BTCC.