This week’s State Budget by the Andrews Labor Government has demonstrated the ongoing failings of Victoria’s corrections and youth justice systems.
Despite spending more than $1.63 billion on prisons in 2020-21, more than 44 per cent of adult offenders back in prison within 2 years and 60 per cent of 10-16 year old offenders returning to sentenced supervision within 12 months.
Furthermore, this budget has revealed the ongoing failure of the Andrews Labor Government to deliver meaning programs and outcomes to support offender rehabilitation, including:
- Proportion of benchmark measures in prison services agreement achieved, including education, offending behaviour programs and prison safety below target rates.
- Only 7 per cent – or 1 in 14 – of young offenders are receiving a referral to support and diversion programs.
- An expected 44.1 per cent of inmates return to prison within two years – the fifth consecutive year recidivism has been above target rates.
- Only 20 per cent of youth offenders participated in community re-integration programs in 2020-21.
Despite the clear failures of Victoria’s corrections system, the Andrews Labor Government continues to under-invest on rehabilitation programs, with just $1 in new funding to be spent supporting inmates to get on the right path for every $100 spent locking them up in 2021-22.
Labor’s more-of-the-same approach to prisons and youth justice facilities and rehabilitation has failed everyone and continues to undermine the safety of all Victorians.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Corrections & Youth Justice David Southwick
“Under the Andrews Labor Government our prisons and youth justice facilities are failing and offender and community safety outcomes continue to go backwards.”
“When only 1 dollar out of every hundred is spent on helping offenders rather than locking them up, is it any wonder why reoffending rates are stuck so high?”
“Victoria needs a new plan to ensure young people don’t turn to a life of crime and instead are provided meaningful employment and skills opportunities so they can stay on the right path and the broader community avoids the harms of reoffending.”