In rebuilding from the pandemic, we need to keep our whole state safe. That includes tacking the root causes of crime, supporting at-risk young people and ensuring we have a secure corrections and youth justice system.
That’s why this Budget will deliver $18 million to improve community safety, build safer facilities and strengthen connections between families, education, jobs, and community – directly addressing the drivers of crime.
The Andrews Labor Government will invest $11.8 million over four years to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in the youth justice system, including delivery of the Aboriginal Youth Justice Strategy. This strategy will be released next year and aims to further embed self-determination in the way the justice system supports young Aboriginal Victorians, including diversion and reducing the risk of re-offending.
To continue supporting those who have been hurt by crime, the Budget is delivering $4.3 million for victims services, with $2.1 million for the Victims of Crime Helpline.
There is also $2.2 million to continue the intermediaries program – supporting vulnerable witnesses to provide evidence to police and in court.
Our corrections staff have done an incredible job of limiting the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our prison system. This year's Budget will deliver $100 million to help the corrections and youth justice systems to continue their response to the pandemic.
The funding will support ongoing safety measures, further improve infection control, and provide health and mental health services across the corrections and youth justice systems.
The Budget is also making the investments our state needs to ensure a safe and secure youth justice system, with $17.1 million to build a stable workforce, address demand and keep young people out of the system.
This includes additional remand beds at Parkville Youth Justice Precinct, workforce incentives for existing and new custodial staff and hiring more behavioural support specialists for Parkville and Malmsbury.
The Budget also provides $141 million to deliver a more specialised Youth Justice facility at Cherry Creek that improves safety for staff and the community, while boosting rehabilitation for young people to reduce re-offending.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections, Youth Justice, Crime Prevention and Victims Support Natalie Hutchins
“This package is tough on the causes of crime – helping young people at-risk of coming into contact with our justice system and supporting them to make better choices.”
“These are dedicated investments to address the significant over representation of Aboriginal Victorians in our prisons and our youth justice system.”
“We’ve seen the critical role our corrections and youth justice staff have played in responding to the pandemic, and this year’s Budget continues to support them in keeping our corrections system safe.”
Reviewed 24 November 2020