The Victorian government has released a report on the state's adult custodial corrections system. The Cultural Review of the Adult Custodial Corrections System, aims to examine the culture that exists within Victoria's prisons and correctional centres.
The review found that the system is in transition, shifting from an operational model focused on security to one that balances therapeutic engagement with community safety. The report highlights the need for purposeful and values-based leadership, and notes weaknesses in the systems and processes that limit staff's ability to support real change for those in their care. It also highlights the over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in the justice system and the overwhelming number of Aboriginal deaths in custody.
Recommendations for cultural reform include reinforcing actions to achieve ten long-term outcomes, including a more purposeful, integrated, and transparent system, better measurement and evaluation, a diverse and developed workforce, accountable leadership, a culture shaped by integrity, fairness and openness, a safer and more inclusive workforce, a culturally safer custodial environment for Aboriginal people, a person-centred and trauma-informed custodial environment, a public model of health for people in custody, and a more open custodial system. These recommendations aim to create a corrections system that focuses on rehabilitation and human rights, supporting people in custody to make positive change in their lives in a respectful environment with a rehabilitative culture.