Building a stronger community corrections system
The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed the findings of the Victorian Auditor-General Office (VAGO) report, Managing Community Correction Orders, tabled in the Victorian Parliament on Feb 8.
Of the 12 recommendations relevant to Corrections, 11 are already in the process of being implemented thanks to the Labor Government’s record $320 million investment in Community Correctional Services (CCS) over the last
The report acknowledged the significant reforms made by the Labor Government which Corrections Victoria is currently delivering, including the shift to a new CCS operating model earlier this year.
Through the Labor Government’s investment over the last two years, Corrections Victoria is:
* Employing 160 extra staff to manage and supervise offenders
* Strengthening case-management of high-risk offenders
* Improving offender rehabilitation
* Targeting programs to reduce re-offending
* Creating a dedicated Court Assessment and Prosecutions Service to provide specialist advice to the courts on order conditions and prosecute offenders who breach their orders.
Under the recent reforms, specialist CCS staff have been recruited and trained to manage different categories of offenders, based on the offender’s risks and needs to help them break the cycle of reoffending.
The Labor Government has invested $10 million to boost treatment and rehabilitation services, including a new drug and alcohol program, and additional offending behaviour programs.
The government has introduced legislation to tighten the use of community correction orders (CCOs) to ensure that people who are convicted of the most serious crimes are incarcerated.
The tough new laws will prevent the courts from using CCOs for the most serious crimes – such as rape, sexual abuse of a child and murder.
New CCS offices are also opening across Victoria to support the record number of staff and to provide stronger case management for offenders.
Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney said, “The former Liberal Government ignored the community corrections system. Staff were overworked and under resourced which lead to a system that failed victims.” (TIW)