Hundreds of new beds will be opened across three Victorian prisons as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s work to boost the security and capacity of the corrections system.
Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney announced the locations for 473 new prison beds, including a 102-bed accommodation unit at the medium-security Fulham Correctional Centre.
The Labor Government’s record investment to recruit 3,135 extra police and introduce tougher sentencing and bail laws, as well as a rising population has seen prison numbers increase, and they are expected to continue to grow.
An additional 300 beds will be opened at Ravenhall Correctional Centre and a further 71 at the Metropolitan Remand Centre under a strengthened operating model.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 is also investing in the operation of a 35-bed management unit at Fulham, with design planning already underway for the two new units.
The Government is providing almost $362 million to fund the additional beds, as well as a new dedicated premises for the Adult Parole Board and the new Post-Sentence Authority.
The new beds will open progressively as needed over the next three years to help manage growth in Victoria’s prison population, including the increased numbers of prisoners on remand.
This builds on the Labor Government’s $690 million investment to build a new 700-bed prison to meet future demands on the state’s prison system.
The new maximum security prison will include at least 700 beds, and will be built in the outer-Geelong suburb of Lara, near Barwon Prison and Marngoneet Correctional Centre.
The new prison will support 600 jobs during peak construction periods and create more than 650 jobs when fully operational in 2022.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney
“Our tough bail and sentencing laws means more people are in prison. We’re funding and opening more beds to ensure our prison system is strong, secure and can keep pace with increasing demand.”
“The previous Liberal Government left our state with crumbling, overcrowded prisons which made them less safe for prisoners, staff and the community.”
“We’re fixing the mess they left behind with this boost in bed numbers and our investment in a new 700 bed maximum-security men’s prison at the Lara Prison Precinct.”