Case Study – QCS

Canvas3 is a strong advocate for the sector and an equalization of opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across health, justice, education and employment. We are a partner to Queensland Correctional Services (QCS) to recruit, embed and support a team of Cultural Liaison Officers (CLOs).

As part of the engagement, Canvas3 is designing an approach and is responsible for creating a team of CLOs that are well connected with the community, and that are supported by the organisation that they are a part of. We appreciate the need to look at alternative methods of recruiting Indigenous candidates, not only to meet diversity components within the QCS workforce, but more importantly to meet the needs and affect potential change of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people subject to custodial or community-based orders.

The CLO Team approach designed by Canvas3 will offer the opportunities to exchange ideas and knowledge, obtain guidance when needed and offer career progression. A structured mentoring, coaching and case management program supporting ongoing retention and performance is one of the fundamental offerings we believe will create change in the criminal justice system from both sides, and help break down barriers both internally and externally, and address ongoing problems such as:

  • Historical lack of Indigenous applicants and staff, particularly in rural and remote locations
  • Over-representation of Indigenous people in custody and on community-based Orders

An integrated framework that supports the attraction of candidates to the Department first and foremost is critical. This will be followed by culturally targeted on-boarding, training, and on-going support for the candidates and also the team members in which they will be an integral part of.

A systematic approach involving effective recruitment and on-boarding of Indigenous probation and parole, and custodial of officers, along with continued support and resources directed to culturally relevant programs such as the Murri Courts, Coaching & Mentoring, will provide hope and economic prosperity to the very communities where crime is often a rite of passage.

The engagement was designed in accordance with the following QUEENSLAND PAROLE SYSTEM REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, 2017

Recommendation 64: Queensland Corrective Services should substantially and immediately increase the number of Cultural Liaison Officer positions within the Probation and Parole workforce, particularly in offices supervising high numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders.
Supported: The Queensland Government will increase the number of cultural liaison officers within QCS. Recruitment will commence in 2017.

Recommendation 23: Queensland Corrective Services should re-establish a dedicated research unit.
Supported: A dedicated research unit will be re-established in QCS.

Recommendation 27: Queensland Corrective Services should develop new rehabilitation programs specifically designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Supported: The Queensland Government will increase rehabilitation opportunities for prisoners and offenders.

We believe consistent messaging and brand management of the benefits of working for QCS that are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander centric highlight the opportunity to make a difference and help ‘close the gap’.