Attempted breakout at Woodford Correctional Centre

A prisoner has attempted a brazen escape from a maximum security Queensland prison by swapping identification cards with a cellmate who was due for release.

Prison authorities insist standard identity checks thwarted the escape from Woodford Correctional Centre, north of Brisbane, this week.

However, jail sources told The Courier-Mail the convicted armed robber made it as far as the reception area for processing, in a major security breach.

The prisoner's plan was to simply walk out the front door, with sources saying he still had years to serve on his sentence when he swapped ID cards with an inmate who was being released on Tuesday.