Locked up 23 hours a day: welcome to bikies' super jail

Jason Dougherty

CONVICTED outlaw motorcycle gang members will do "hard time" in a super jail with as little as one hour a day out of their cells, Premier Campbell Newman has announced.

A special ultra-secure facility at Woodford Correctional Centre will house the highest risk members of criminal motorcycle gangs as part of the Queensland Government's crackdown on organised crime.

While in jail, prisoners will have limited access to visitors, more frequent cell searches and drug testing, no access to a gymnasium or TVs in cells, and all phone calls and mail will be monitored.

Premier Campbell Newman said the government was committed to getting members of criminal motorcycle gangs off the streets of Queensland.

"We will use a maximum security facility at Woodford Correctional Centre to incarcerate these thugs," Mr Newman said.

"Consideration will also be given to recommissioning currently unused maximum security units at other prisons across Queensland."

Mr Newman said criminals housed in the new maximum security facility would face an unprecedented level of monitoring while in prison.

"This facility not only gives us the capacity to house these violent criminals, but ensure their activities are closely monitored and controlled 24 hours a day," he said.

"They will do hard time and I make no apologies for that. This government is getting tough on these criminals, whether they are on the streets or in our jails."

In prison, criminal motorcycle gang members will face:

  • Restricted hours out of their cell (potentially as little as one hour a day)
  • Increased drug testing
  • Frequent, proactive cell searches
  • Only one hour non-contact visits with family members per week
  • No TVs in their cells
  • No access to gymnasium facilities
  • All phone calls, other than to legal representatives, will be monitored by intelligence staff
  • Mail to be opened, searched and censored.

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the new measures were needed as criminal motorcycle gang members posed significant risks, even when behind bars.

"These criminals use their time in prison to recruit new members and continue criminal activities including the distribution of drugs and intimidation of prison staff," Mr Bleijie said.

"The government is considering tougher penalties for offences in prison, including weapon offences, serious assault, drug use, threats to staff and violent demonstrations.

"We will also strengthen penalties for staff who collude or conspire with imprisoned criminal motorcycle gang members.

"Make no mistake, if you do the crime, you will most definitely do the hard time."

Topics:  campbell newman editors picks jarrod bleijie outlaw motorcycle gangs prisons

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