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How to better prepare people to transition from prison to the community

Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Victorian Ombudsman’s enquiry into rehabilitation services post prison.

People exiting prison in Victoria are some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community, yet the limited support that is available to them means they often get stuck in the revolving door of the justice system.A tendency of governments to pursue punitive rather than therapeutic policies for people involved in the justice system has led to the significant and rapid growth of Victoria’s prison population, overwhelming the system’s capacity to deliver consistent and effective rehabilitation and reintegration for prisoners.

We believe that preparing people to transition from prison to the community should commence the moment they enter custody, followed by an end-to-end approach that integrates comprehensive assessment, sophisticated planning, and high quality case-management.

In our submission we call for practical responses, including providing a diversity of housing options (along with support to sustain tenancy) to enable people exiting prison to successfully reintegrate into the community.

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