Ombudsman shines light on Labor’s “in the dark” prison system

Today’s report by the Victorian Ombudsman into prison disciplinary hearings is further evidence of the failed management of Victoria’s correctional system under the Andrews Labor Government.

The report has confirmed a widespread reliance on anecdotal evidence and a lack of recording when conducting prison disciplinary hearings, with Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass stating such procedures are conducted “in the dark with insufficient scrutiny, oversight or transparency”.

This report follows the recent IBAC Special Report on Corrections which identified “serious and systemic corruption risks facing the corrections sector in Victoria” and exposed a number of serious corruption cases within Victoria’s prisons, including;

  • Substantiated allegations of assault on prisoners by corrections officers at Port Phillip Prison;

  • The employment of a property officer who misused Corrections Victoria databases and had associations with current and former inmates;

  • The smuggling and sale of contraband (tobacco) by an Aboriginal Welfare Officer to inmates at Loddon Prison;

  • The smuggling of contraband, receipt of cash payments and inappropriate relationships relating to a prison officer at Dhurringile Prison.

Together, these reports further demonstrate the failure of the Andrews Labor Government to run an effective and transparent prison system – meaning fewer opportunities for genuine rehabilitation and more hardened criminals back in local communities.

With Labor continuing to run the most expensive prisons of any state in the nation and reoffending stuck over 40 per cent – it’s clear Victoria needs a new plan to clean-up our prisons, get offenders on the right path and keep our community safe.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Corrections, David Southwick:

“Daniel Andrews’ failed prisons mean more hardened criminals back on the street and less safe communities for Victorians across the state.

“What hope do prisoners have to turn their lives around when the rules are inconsistent and lacking transparency and prison discipline is conducted in the dark?

“Under Labor, the revolving door justice system just keeps on spinning. Victorians need a new plan to clean up our prisons and keep the community safe.”

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