Jesuit Social Services contributed this submission to the Victorian Ombudsman’s Investigation into the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Prisoners.

This submission outlines some steps to be taken to confront the dual challenges of overcrowding in our prison system and transitioning people from prison back into community, as well as to strengthen the Victorian justice system’s approach to changing people’s behaviour.

It takes into account the context of increasing complexity among people involved in the justice system complexity and more punitive responses to their behaviour.

We believe action will only produce results if it is underpinned by leadership from government to reinvigorate the Reducing Reoffending Framework and to strengthen collaboration with the community.

The submission identifies several specific areas for action, both in custody and community:

  • individualised approaches to meet the needs of people, particularly members of vulnerable groups including women, young people, Aboriginal people, older people, and people living with physical or intellectual disabilities
  • embedding an end-to-end case management approach with high quality assessment and planning
    embedding therapeutic programs, services and approaches across the system and developing trauma-informed and restorative justice practices that are tailored to meet the needs of vulnerable groups
  • providing clear pathways through learning and into work both in custody and the community, and
  • developing staged transition options that rebuild connections to community, provide for intense support, and link in with safe, stable and secure housing.

The submission makes 10 recommendations against these specific areas.

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Investigation into the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners in Victoria - Discussion Paper