We have the opportunity to speak to Mark Walters, Director – Southern Queensland Correctional Centre of Serco Asia Pacific prior to his presentation at the Prison Planning, Design, Construction and Maintenance Conference on the 29-30th November 2012 in Melbourne.
What do you think is the most important issue/topic that should be discussed?
I might be wrong but traditionally a prison is designed after the ITT sets out clearly the role and function of the intended facility. The design addresses the specific needs of the intended prisoner population. At that point it becomes static. It would be interesting to explore how we could design flexible spaces. A Centre where we could hold different populations, operate differential regimes, increase one population via decreasing another, or even replace a population type with another type. A Centre needs to be able to change with respect to infrastructure and offer solutions to different populations as over time the nature of offender and crime changes.
Why did you decide to speak at the conference?
I think speaking at this conference allows the opportunity to share with others the impressive work being done not only at different Centres across a State but also across different jurisdictions. It seems that all are doing exceptional work and this allows us to share innovation and best practice.
What will you be speaking about?
Southern Queensland Correctional Centre is Queensland’s newest centre having received its first prisoner on the 3rd January 2012. I will be speaking about some of the design concepts and operations that support our environmental sustainability agenda and has led to SQCC being described as the ‘greenest prison in the State’. Further I will be speaking about some of the innovative programmes being delivered including ‘Pups in prison’, in partnership with Assistance Dogs Australia, ‘Shakespeare behind bars’, in partnership with Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble and the University of Queensland, and ‘moodle and e reader’ programme in partnership with the university of Southern Queensland.
What are you hoping to get out of the conference and what are you looking forward to the most?
I am looking forward to gaining a greater awareness of the different philosophies across States with respect to public private partnership, prison design concepts, and intervention strategies particularly pertaining to restorative justice.
If you’d like more information on the conference, please go to the official conference page.