Prison rehabilitation questioned

The Victorian Ombudsman, Deborah Glass, has launched an investigation into the effectiveness of the prison system in rehabilitating offenders. “According to the Australian  Bureau of Statistics, in 2013 more than 50 per cent of Victoria’s prisoners were repeat offenders,” said Ms Glass. The inquiry will focus on rehabilitation opportunities during imprisonment, as well as the transition back into the community. Prisoners’ families have suggested the increasing prison population is making it harder for offenders to access the help they need. The inquiry will build on other work being done in the area; the previous Ombudsman produced a scathing report on dangerous overcrowding in Victoria’s prisons, while the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare questioned the effectiveness of transition programs to help prisoners adjust upon release.