Almost 4,000 inmates draw Labor’s “get-out-of-jail-early” card

Daniel Andrews’ failure to properly manage Victoria’s corrections system during COVID-19 has resulted in thousands of Victorian prisoners being set to score reduced sentences in a clear threat to community safety.

Earlier this week, a breach at Ravenhall Prison resulted in almost 4,000 inmates across 6 major Victorian prisons in Melbourne, Ararat, Langi Kal Kal, Sale, Geelong and Castlemaine being sent into lockdown. 

Under Victoria’s corrections regulations, an inmate subjected to lockdown may be eligible for up to four “emergency management days”, that is, days off their sentence for each day in lockdown served.

The potential for the widespread application of emergency management days follows three serious breaches within Victoria’s correctional system in the last week, including:

  • COVID-19 positive Ravenhall Prison Officer involved in inmate transfers being contacting a number of prisoners and staff and resulting in 6 jails being sent into lockdown. 
  • The movement of a prisoner positive for COVID-19 from the Metropolitan Assessment Centre (MAP) to the Metropolitan Remand Centre (MRC) whilst awaiting a test result. 
  • COVID-19 positive youth justice educational coordinator working between the metropolitan Parkville and regional Malmsbury Youth Justice Centres. 

Labor’s failure to manage Victoria’s corrections system during COVID-19 has placed the safety of staff, inmates and the broader community at unacceptable risk. 

Daniel Andrews’ claim that Corrections Victoria is “best placed” to manage the botched hotel quarantine program has been thrown further into doubt as questions remain over potential links between these facilities and recent positives within the corrections system. 

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Corrections, David Southwick: 

“Prisoners are not in jail for a holiday but because they’ve done the wrong thing and shouldn’t be rewarded for Daniel Andrews’ incompetence.

“It’s clear Daniel Andrews has his priorities all backwards when violent criminals are being treated better than vulnerable public housing residents who were locked down for days and all the received is frozen sausage rolls.

“If this is how Labor is running our prisons, what confidence can Victorians have that they will secure our botched quarantine hotels?”

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