More money is needed to support prisoners on release, leading to greater public safety and a saving of taxes.
The rights group, Liberty Victoria, said this today in welcoming the Victorian Ombudsman’s report into prisoner rehabilitation. Particularly pleasing are recommended changes to the educational opportunities for prisoners, which Liberty has long urged.
Liberty told the Ombudsman’s inquiry that prisoners should be given internet access for educational purposes under a state-first pilot program, and it supported a trial access program.
Victorian prisoners are denied access to online-based educational services. This hinders prisoners pursuing tertiary qualifications, because universities and TAFEs increasingly rely on digital course materials.
The Ombudsman recommended a trial of controlled online learning for suitable prisoners for possible expansion into a broader group of approved prisoners. “Liberty Victoria encourages the state government to implement the proposed trial” said its President Mr George Georgiou SC.
“Liberty is also heartened by the report’s focus on the inherent vulnerability of women prisoners and the need to provide proper consideration to support their transition from prison back into the community, as well as placing emphasis on a ‘whole-of-government response’ to the needs of released prisoners.
“The more effort that is put into prisoner rehabilitation and reintegration the safer will be the community,” Mr Georgiou said.
Liberty Victoria’s full submission can be found at http://libertyvictoria.org/Ombudsman_prisonconsultation20141231
The Ombudsman’s Report can be found at: https://www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au/Investigations/Investigation-into-the-rehabilitation-and-reintegr.