Construction is underway on a new secure facility in Ararat that will house serious sex offenders and serious violent offenders after they have completed their prison sentence.
Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney today toured the site, where head contractor Kane Constructions recently began work to build the 20-bed facility.
The facility, which will feature a secure perimeter, is being built next to Hopkins Correctional Centre and is on track to open in 2018.
The facility will help keep Victorians safe – creating extra space to house serious offenders the courts deem unsuitable to be released into the broader community after they complete their prison sentence.
The construction phase is creating around 100 jobs, while the facility will employ a further 50 people in clinical, administrative and security roles when it opens next year.
To reduce the risk of reoffending, a range of programs and services will be provided including offending behavior programs and mental health, drug and alcohol services.
Ongoing consultation is continuing through the Community Advisory Group, which has been established to ensure Ararat residents and businesses are kept updated on the project and have an opportunity to provide feedback.
Community forums were also held in July and August at Alexandra Oval.
The facility has been funded as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s record $308 million investment in the post-sentence supervision and detention scheme, in response to last year’s landmark Harper Review.
The Labor Government recently introduced a bill which will go towards implementing 14 recommendations, including the creation of a new statutory authority that will provide independent oversight of the scheme.
Eight recommendations have already been implemented in full.
A new secure post-sentence detention unit will also be built at Barwon Prison, providing 10 beds for the state’s most serious violent offenders.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney
“We’re working to keep Victorians safe and this new 20-bed facility is a part of that.”
“This project is not only keeping people safe, it’s also creating 150 jobs – and boosting the local economy.”
“Construction of this facility is another step towards implementing all 35 of the Harper Review’s recommendations by the end of next year.”