The Minister for Corrections Wade Noonan today officially opened the major expansion to the Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat.
The expansion has boosted local jobs, with about 340 staff employed today – up from about 160 in 2010 – and transformed the medium-security prison from a relatively enclosed 1960s environment to one with a modern, open-campus design.
The new design aims to promote pro-social behaviour, improve the safety of both staff and prisoners, and reduce the likelihood of released inmates returning to prison.
Hopkins provides a range of programs, services and activities to address the identified risks and needs of prisoners and to reduce their risk of reoffending.
New areas for industries and education will enable the prison to deliver more relevant jobs programs to prepare prisoners for reintegration back into the wider community.
All prisoners capable of work are employed full time. They work in prison industries, community gangs and services such as kitchen laundry, maintenance, cleaning and gardening.
With the expansion, Hopkins has almost doubled its bed capacity and now has the capacity to accommodate more than 700 prisoners.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Wade Noonan
“The expansion at Hopkins, with its emphasis on the way prisoners are managed, seeks to balance community protection with prisoner rehabilitation.”
“People leaving prison are less likely to reoffend if they are better prepared for their release and have access to the most appropriate, programs, services and support.”
“The expansion at Hopkins builds on a long and positive relationship with the Ararat community which has benefited residents through community programs, as well as helping offenders prepare for their release.”