After rural communities were impacted by the recent double-whammy of TC Jasper and ex-TC Kirrily, members of the Townsville Correctional Centre work camp teams at Boulia, Julia Creek and Winton stepped up to assist on properties and in towns.
Townsville Low Custody manager, George Muir said a team of 12 men based at their Julia Creek work camp were "invaluable" in helping flood impacted communities.
"When Kynuna flooded earlier this year after TC Kirrily,, our team of 12 work camp prisoners travelled 117km each way from Julia Creek twice a day" he said.
"The helped council clean up The Blue Heeler Pub of debris and mud."
Mr Muir said the work camp teams also assisted local graziers on their properties which had suffered significant damage..
"The team also helped out on the surrounding properties with cattle and animals, helping the farmers cleaning up and making sure their animals, fencing and roads were in good order," he said.
"Feedback from the graziers was really good, they were ecstatic with their assistance."
While many of the team members possess experience from working as outback station hands, they were also able to gain additional skills while providing quality ongoing assistance to rural councils and communities, Mr Muir said.
He said the prisoners often developed a connection to the community in which they were assigned, having undertaken maintenance work there across everything from assisting senior locals with housing repairs to cutting grass at parks and helping to set up at local agricultural shows, rodeos, crampdraft and pony club events.
"We do a lot of projects with regional councils such as maintenance on the Julia Creek Saleyards and help with events like the Boulia camel races," he said.
"On release, many of them end up working in the communities they assisted which is really good."
Mr Muir said work teams rotated every fortnight.
"They have two weeks on and two weeks off, learn new life skills, are reintroduced to the community and develop self-reliance," he said.
"These work camps help them integrate back into society under supervision."
And while it's hard and dirty work, Mr Muir said the prisoner possessed a good work ethic.
"They love getting out there and helping," he said.
"A lot of them want to progress after they leave."
Mr Muir said the Townsville Correctional Centre's low custody facility offered prisoners opportunities to gain genuine experience working with livestock.
"Our low custody farm includes 250 Droughtmaster cattle and a piggery, he said.
"Prisoners learn how how muster cattle, learn fencing line maintenance and building enclosures, how to feed cattle in times of drought and animals husbandry,
"A lot of prisoners come from remote communities' and we have a high Indigenous cohort and many have worked as station hands."
Mr Muir said before heading to Kynuna, prisoners had helped out Billabong Sanctuary, a wildlife park in Townsville.
"The cyclone came and hit the wildlife sanctuary down the road and we spent a week of eight or nine hour days with 13 or 14 guys down there every day chain sawing and fixing enclosures," he said.
"We removed 44 tip loads of debris from the sanctuary then finished up on the Monday and by the Tuesday were at Julia Creek and then working in Kynuna by the Wednesday.
"We are teaching them you are valued and giving them skills and the satisfaction of giving something back."