For the past 16 years Keith has been Managing Director, Knowledge Consulting Pty Ltd a company that provides specialist consulting services to Corrections and Immigration Detention Services. He is also Managing Director, Holistic Justice and Community Services Pty Ltd (HJCS) a start-up company working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to develop and implement initiatives to reduce contact with the criminal justice system and imprisonment.
Keith held Director General and CEO positions in the Queensland Public Sector including Director General, Queensland Corrective Services Commission and CEO, Department of the Public Service Board. He was also Deputy Director General (Corrective Programs), Department of Welfare Services.
Corrections experience while working in the Public Sector includes:
Commissions of Inquiry:
During his service with the Queensland Public Service Board Keith was Consultant Team Leader on two major inquiries:
- The Bredhauer Inquiry into the QLD Prison System and
- The Longland Inquiry into riots at Boggo Road High Security Prison In addition to the foregoing roles Keith had input into:
- The Kennedy Commission of Inquiry into the Queensland Prison System and
- The Mulholland Report relating to the Queensland Parole System
Senior Executive Roles in Corrections:
Deputy Director General (Corrective Programs), Department of Welfare Services:
Responsible for the administrative oversight of the QLD Prison Service and the Probation and Parole Service
Director General, Queensland Corrective Services Commission:
In 1988 the Kennedy Commission of Inquiry into the QLD Prison Service recommended establishment of the Queensland Corrective Services Commission. Keith was appointed as Queensland’s first Director General of Corrective Services in December 1988 and remained in this position until June 1997, when he entered the private sector. As Director General he led an ambitious and successful reform agenda in QLD corrections.
Commonwealth Industry Commission during this period reported QLD as having one of the most cost-effective systems of Corrections in Australia; and the lowest return to prison rate. Underpinning these achievements was a strategy that included:
- Work place reform within secure correctional centres driven by competition between public and private providers
- Restructuring of the roles of custodial correctional officers
- A significant increase in the number of professional program staff working in secure correctional centres
- A “through care” model that saw a much greater emphasis upon the use of community corrections and a consequent fall in the numbers of prisoners in secure custody
- Innovative prisoner programs, including the Western Out Reach Prisoner Camp Scheme
- Community Justice programs in Indigenous communities
- Establishment of community hostels in urban areas for offenders that were previously held in secure custody
- Implementation of programs to allow offenders to make restitution to the community and to victims of crime
- Community groups providing support programs within secure correctional centres as well as in community corrections
- Achievement of goals to significantly increase the number of Indigenous people and women working in secure and community corrections
- Rebuilding and or refurbishing the states entire correctional infrastructure to make it suitable for a modern system of corrections with a goal to reduce recidivism
- Implementing Community Corrections Boards across the State to provide greater access by prisoners to supervised parole release thus enhancing their chances of a law abiding life style
- Greater emphasis upon cognitive skills programs for offenders aimed at addressing the underlying causes of their offending behaviour
- Introduction of the concept of individual case management of all prisoners whether in secure or community custody
- Establishment of Parole Units in each prison to allow Community Corrections Officers to work with prisoners to better prepare them for parole release and to assist them in developing their post release plans
During this period the Queensland Corrective Services Commission won a Human Rights Medal for its humane and innovative programs for Indigenous offenders at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre. This was the first ever such award to a correctional centre in Australia.
Keith has considerable expertise in the area of public-versus-private providers of correctional services and with separation of purchaser-and- provider roles. Queensland was the first jurisdiction outside of the United States of America to introduce private sector operators into custodial corrections.
Further, under Keith’s stewardship Queensland was the first Australian correctional jurisdiction to undertake a correctional project where the public and private sectors tendered competitively against each other for the right to design, build and operate a major secure correctional facility, the Woodford Correctional Centre. The Queensland Corrective Services Commission won the tender to design, build and operate the centre, brought the project in on time on budget and won an Australian design award for the project.
Keith as Director General was intimately involved in the design and construction of the Woodford Correctional Centre.
He drove the concept for the design involving a mixture of secure cell blocks and a campus of residential style accommodation, complemented by high quality program and industries facilities. He chaired the Project Control Group meetings from the initial design concept through all phases until the centre was commissioned.
Keith was a member of the Queensland Parole Board for the duration of his tenure as Director General of the Queensland Corrective Services Commission.
Keith has visited and studied corrections in Germany, Holland, England, Singapore, USA and New Zealand.
He represented Queensland in New Zealand in 1989 at the Australasian Conference of Ministers of Corrections and Correctional Administrators. In 1993 he was a keynote speaker on developments in the Pacific Region at the American Correctional Association’s National Conference in Nashville T ennessee.
In 1996 he again represented Queensland in New Zealand at the Asian Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators in Christchurch.
Corrections experience while working in the private sector includes:
- A detailed submission to the Queensland Parole System Review, October 2016
- Review of all facets of the Northern Territory’s Department of Correctional Services 2016
- Development of a Public Private Partnership approach for Healing and Rehabilitation Facilities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders in Queensland 2015 -2016 and ongoing
- Conducted two “technical due diligence” projects on behalf of banks financing private consortiums’ bids for the design, construction, management and maintenance of new correctional centres with performance regimes which included targets for reductions in re- offending 2013 and 2016
- Organisational Review, WA Department of Corrective Services 2013 - 2014
- Consultant Team Leader of an Independent Review to identify the most appropriate organisational management structure for Corrective Services NSW 2011 -2012
- Review of the procedures, processes and practices within QLD Correctional Centres related to ensuring the health and well-being of prisoners managed in Behaviour Management / Restricted Amenity Units 2014
Consultancy advice to NSW Corrections in the re-tendering process for the privately managed and operated Junee Correctional Centre 2000
- Consultant Team Leader to the Australian Capital Territory, Department of Corrective Services for the Territory’s New Prison Project 2000
- Consultant Team Leader of an Independent Review of Operations at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, ACT Corrective Services 2010- 2011
- Operational Planning Project Team Leader, Prison Infrastructure Redevelopment Program, Tasmanian Prison Service Pre 2000
- Consultant to the Organisational Development Program, Tasmanian Prison Service Pre 2000
- Consultancy advice to GRM International in relation to corrections capacity building in the Solomon Islands Prison Service, an AUSAID project 2006
- Oversight of the work of consultants carrying out expert witness work relating to serious incidents in prisons and police watch houses
- Oversight of consultant’s work in a review of security and safety in Family Law Court holding cells
- Researched and prepared a paper for presentation to a Parliamentary Inquiry into New South Wales Corrective Services that proposed a governance model for corrective services
- Presentation to the QLD Parliament’s Public Works Committee concerning prison infrastructure in QLD 2006
Immigration Detention Services experience while working in the private sector includes:
- Independent investigation of the causes of a serious riot that destroyed Nauru Immigration Processing Centre.
- Independent review of conditions at Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre, including of safety and security
- Independent investigation of the causes of a serious riot by detainees at Port Headland Immigration Detention Centre that resulted in significant damage to the Centre and injuries to detainees and officers
- Independent investigation of the mistreatment and neglect of detainees while under escort by officers who were transferring them by road from Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre, Victoria to Baxter Immigration Detention Centre, South Australia
- Independent investigation of allegations of availability of illicit drugs and sexual assault of female detainees at Villawood Immigration Detention Facility, Sydney, NSW
- Team Leader of an Operational Audit of Villawood Immigration Detention Facility, including of security matters
- Oversighted investigations by Knowledge Consulting’s contracted consultants of serious incidents including fires, riots and escapes at Woomera, Baxter and Villawood Immigration Detention Centres
- Oversighted audits by Knowledge Consulting’s contracted consultants of health and food services at Baxter Immigration Detention Centre, SA
- Oversighted audits by Knowledge Consulting’s contracted consultants of health services at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre and at Perth Immigration Detention Facility
- Reviewed the Department’s approach to and progress with implementation of recommendations arising from the Palmer and Comrie reviews of two high profile matters
- Provided the Department with advice and recommendations relating to governance of the outsourced Detention Services Contract for the operation of Immigration Detention Centres and Off Shore Immigration Processing Centres
- Carried out a risk assessment in Darwin of boat based detention of Suspected Illegal Foreign Fishers for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority
- Developed Detention Standards for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority for proposed detention facilities for Suspected Illegal Foreign Fishers
Security assessment, development of an operational specification, staffing model and shadow costing for a proposed detention facility in Darwin for Suspected Illegal Foreign Fishers for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority
Juvenile Justice experience includes:
During my time as a Public Service Inspector with the Queensland Department of the Public Service Board I carried out a number of reviews within the then Department of Children’s Services which had responsibility for Juvenile Detention Facilities. At that time I inspected Juvenile Detention Facilities in Queensland and Western Australia and the respective behaviour management regimes in place at that time
- When I was Director General, Queensland Corrective Services Commission the then government transferred control of juvenile detention facilities to our Commission for a period following disastrous riots that had occurred in these facilities. I became the Accountable Officer for these facilities
- For some time now I have been a volunteer participant in a coalition of academics and practitioners who have been presenting proposals/ options to the Queensland Government aimed at achieving better outcomes for young people in the Juvenile Justice System
- I am currently working with some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners in Queensland concerning use of their Traditional Lands for initiatives to assist with cultural healing and rehabilitation of young people who offend or who are at risk of offending. I am progressing this proposal with Youth Justice Queensland and
- In the early 1990’s when on a study visit to Northern Europe I had the opportunity to discuss with an eminent Criminologist and a Juvenile Court Judge juvenile justice practices including sentencing founded in restorative justice principles.
Keith Hamburger AM
Keith Hamburger AM
Founder & Chairman
Awards, Memberships & Education