Victoria’s prisoner population has increased by almost 12% cent in the last three years.
In 2012-13 spending on Victorian prisons increased to $625 million.
In the past three years the daily average prison population has increased by 534 to 5,120 inmates.
Currently the Victorian Government is delivering the largest prison expansion programs in the state’s history.
Since 2011 the government has delivered an extra 791 prison beds with another 2500 pending.
In 2012-13 Victoria’s recidivism rate increased with the number of released prisoners who returned to prison under sentence within two years growing from 35.1% to 36.8%.
Julie Edwards, Jesuit Social Services chief executive, said that “prison increases are being driven by sentencing reforms that purport to make the community safer, but the evidence shows that prison exacerbates many of the problems that lead people to offend in the first place.”
What is your opinion? Do you think that we should be directing financial resources towards housing prisoners or is there a better alternative to manage criminal behaviour?