Ravenhall Prison: Rehabilitating and reintegrating prisoners

Overview

Objectives

To determine whether Ravenhall has developed best practice prisoner management to rehabilitate prisoners and reduce recidivism and has effective performance and evaluation frameworks to assess outcomes.

Issues

Prison is a temporary solution for protecting the community—over 99 per cent of prisoners are released after they have served their sentence. However, many prisoners experience significant challenges reintegrating into the community after their release. These challenges can be exacerbated by social disadvantage and complex needs related to drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, acquired brain injury, homelessness and unemployment.

Successfully rehabilitating and reintegrating prisoners is not only important for reducing risks to the Victorian community, including recidivism, but can also help ease overcrowding in prisons and reduce the high cost of operating them.

The opening of Ravenhall Correctional Centre in November 2017 provided an opportunity to implement best-practice prisoner management to address the complex challenge of recidivism. The prison operator's contract includes specific measures and targets associated with recidivism and the reintegration of prisoners after their release. Ravenhall is the first prison in Victoria to have service payments linked to prisoners' recidivism.

This audit will assess whether there are any gaps or weaknesses in Ravenhall's initiatives to improve prisoner rehabilitation, as well as the proposed performance monitoring and evaluation framework. It will assess whether Corrections Victoria's strategic decision making enables Ravenhall to achieve prisoner rehabilitation targets.

Proposed agencies

Department of Justice and Community Safety (Corrections Victoria) and The GEO Group Australia Pty Ltd (Ravenhall prison operator).

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