Keeping Victorians safe from serious offenders

02 May 2017

The Andrews Labor Government is keeping Victorians safe with a record investment designed to monitor Victoria’s most serious offenders more closely and securely than ever before.

The $308 million investment in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 will implement the recommendations of the Harper Review, commissioned after the tragic death of 17-year-old Masa Vukotic.

We promised we would do everything we could to fix the system, and that is exactly what we’re doing. Community safety comes first.

These fully-funded reforms will expand the post-sentence scheme to include serious violent offenders and serious sex offenders and will tighten the net on them to keep Victorians safe.

This expanded scheme will ensure that serious offenders are under the most rigorous monitoring after the completion of their prison sentence, with electronic monitoring, curfews, no-go zones and strict reporting requirements.

For those violent offenders the court deems unsuitable for release into the community, a new 10-bed, post‑sentence secure facility will be built within an existing prison to keep Victorians safe.

The Sex Offender Response Unit, which includes Victoria Police detectives, intelligence analysts, and corrections staff will manage the expanded scheme, after being established by the Labor Government in 2015.

A new authority will also be established to provide independent and rigorous oversight of the scheme.

For serious violent and sexual offenders who are not suitable to be released into the community after their prison sentences, the Budget also fully funds a new 20-bed secure facility next to the Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat, ensuring it will be operational by the end of next year.

The Budget also includes $74 million for new prison infrastructure, including a new secure gatehouse at Barwon Prison and security upgrades at the state’s maximum security women’s prison, the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.

Cutting reoffending rates is one of the ways we can build a safer community. The Budget invests an additional $41 million on programs and services designed to reduce reoffending, such as expanded drug and alcohol treatment services for prisoners and offenders.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney

“There’s no higher priority than community safety. We’re making the investments and taking the steps to tighten the net on Victoria’s most serious offenders.”

“We promised we’d implement every last recommendation of the landmark Harper Review. These vital reforms are strengthening the system that keeps Victorian families safe.”

“We’re intervening early to cut rates of reoffending, helping to create safer communities and get offenders back on track.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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