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Corrections in Victoria set to go from bad to worse

Reports today outlining Victoria’s prison population growth and increasing costs highlight the ongoing chaos and underperformance of Victoria’s correctional system. The Andrews Government expects Victorian prisoner numbers to soar from 8,110 today to 11,130 by June 2023.

With Victoria currently operating the nation’s most expensive, yet worst performing correctional system, this anticipated spike in prisoner numbers comes at the worst possible time.

Under Daniel Andrews, Victorian taxpayers are paying $323.82 per day per prisoner to fund Victoria’s correctional system – a rate over 78% higher than NSW and almost 45% higher than the Australian average.

Despite paying champagne rates to run our prisons, Victoria also has the worst recidivism rate of any state in the nation, with 58.2% of released prisoners returning to corrective services within two years – up from 48.7% in 2013-14.

With 15-19 year olds now the largest cohort of offenders in cases of violent crimes against the person, it is concerning that almost $9 out of every $10 spent on youth justice goes towards operating correctional facilities – leaving little funding for diversion and crime prevention programs.

With costs, reoffending and prisoner numbers all on the rise, it’s little wonder why Corrections Minister Ben Carroll describes Victorian prison gatehouses as “turnstiles for offenders.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Corrections, David Southwick:

“Under Daniel Andrews, Victoria is operating the nation’s most expensive, yet worst performing correctional system.

With prisoner numbers on the rise, Victoria needs to push the reset button and get our correctional system back on track.”

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