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Submission to the Cultural Review of the Adult Custodial Corrections System

Jesuit Social Services has contributed a response to the Cultural Review of the Adult Custodial Corrections System.

The Victorian Government commissioned the independent review to ensure that Victoria’s adult custodial facilities promote rehabilitation and are safe environments for both people in prison and staff.

The primary goal of any effective and humane criminal justice system is to use prison as a last resort by ensuring policy, legislative and budgetary levers are all set to prevention and diversion. However, increasing prison populations and high recidivism rates point to a systemic failing of Victoria’s criminal justice system and a significant disconnect between what works to support rehabilitation and what the government is implementing.

Jesuit Social Services’ submission advocates for the Victorian Government to stop building new prisons, reduce the number of people who are incarcerated and invest in keeping people out of custody in the first place.

In situations where imprisonment is necessary, we highlight that a restorative way of working supported by qualified staff, well-designed facilities, high quality pre and post-release programs and strong oversight mechanisms can help people turn their lives around when they return to the community.

You can read our full submission to the consultation here.