Last updated 2 September 2019
There are three security classifications, maximum, high and low (s 12(1) Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld)) (Corrective Services Act).
A person on remand is classified automatically as high security, but can be increased to maximum (s 12(1A) Corrective Services Act).
Four factors must be taken into consideration in deciding the person’s security classification, including during any subsequent reviews:
- the nature of the offence (i.e. considerations of the severity of the offence and whether it included violence, which will be reflected in the length of sentence)
- the risk of the person escaping or attempting to escape
- the risk of the person committing a further offence, and the impact the commission of the further offence is likely to have on the community
- the risk the person poses to themselves and other people, staff members and the security of the facility (s 12(2) Corrective Services Act).
There is no guaranteed way to reduce security classification, as many factors are considered.
Positive factors include:
- participation in recommended programs
- satisfactory conduct within prison
- satisfactory work reports.
Negative factors include:
- breaches of prison discipline
- refusal to participate in programs
- attempted escapes.
There are event-based reviews after a significant event or scheduled reviews. A scheduled security classification review must be conducted:
- every six months for maximum security and continued detention order
- every 12 months for high security classification (s 13 Corrective Services Act).
A person’s security classification may also be reviewed at other times, including following:
- an assault
- a change in circumstances such as a positive drug test, inappropriate behaviour of meeting an intervention milestone such as a program.
There must also be an event-based review when a person is returned to secure custody from low custody within 28 days of return.
Challenging the review decision
If a review changes a person’s security classification, QCS must provide an information notice, including reasons for the decision. If security classification is increased, the person must be advised that they can ask for reconsideration if they are dissatisfied, provided they do so in writing within seven days of having been notified (s 15 Corrective Services Act). Once the decision has been reconsidered, the person must be notified in writing of the result. According to procedure, reconsideration decisions must take place within 28 days. A person can also request reconsideration for the following reasons:
- offender management procedures were not followed
- inappropriate or inaccurate information formed the basis of the decision
- pertinent or relevant information was not considered.
Note that a person can still challenge a classification decision in the Supreme Court, despite attempts in the Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld) to exclude the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld).