Serious offenders requiring intensive treatment and supervision will be accommodated at a new facility in Ararat, delivered as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s overhaul of Victoria’s post-sentence scheme.
Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney today officially opened the $52 million facility located next to Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat.
The Rivergum Residential Treatment Centre will house serious sex and violent offenders who are subject to supervision orders under Victoria’s post-sentence scheme.
The scheme applies to offenders who have finished their prison sentences but continue to pose an unacceptable risk to the community.
Security features include a six-metre-high perimeter fence, CCTV in common areas, and doors that can be automatically locked. Residents will also be subject to electronic monitoring.
Rivergum will be staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of around 50 people, including highly-qualified clinicians and case workers responsible for the management, treatment and supervision of residents.
Residents will take part in behaviour change programs to reduce their risk of reoffending, and will receive mental health and drug and alcohol services to treat issues that often go together with criminal activity.
Head contractor Kane Constructions commenced building in August last year, hiring around 100 local tradespeople and labourers to work on the project.
A Community Advisory Group comprised of local residents, council and business representatives received regular updates and provided valuable feedback throughout the project.
Rivergum has been funded as part of the Labor Government’s $390 million investment in Victoria’s post-sentence scheme, in response to the 2015 Harper Review, including expanding the scheme to include serious violent offenders.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney:
“We made a promise to fix Victoria’s post-sentence scheme – with these reforms Victoria is now leading the country in managing our most serious offenders.”
“As well hiring around 100 people during construction, this facility will deliver up to 50 ongoing jobs across a range of highly skilled roles.”
“A team of expert staff will work in a highly secure environment to provide programs and services that reduce their risk of reoffending.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020