Friday 12 January 2018
Corrections chaos as system lacks Commissioner
Under Daniel Andrews the corrections system has been an afterthought with four part time Corrections Ministers in just 3 years:
Wade Noonan from December 2014 to 8 February 2015;
Robin Scott as Acting Minister from 8 February to 23 May;
Steve Herbert from 23 May 2016 to 9 November 2016, resigning following the Ted and Patch affair;
Gayle Tierney since 9 November 2016.
Today, the leadership crisis gets worse with Victorian corrections system operating without a Corrections Commissioner, with the effective resignation of Ms Jan Shuard.
The Victorian corrections system has been in chaos over the last three years, from the worst prison riot in Victoria’s history at the MRC, to the first escape from a walled prison since 2001, to a prisoner strike at Barwon Prison over wages and conditions, to the growing of drugs in a prison garden and the explosion in the number of high risk offenders remaining in the community on a community corrections order, rather than jail.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Corrections Minister, Edward O’Donohue:
The corrections system has been an afterthought for Daniel Andrews with four Ministers in just three years and today, Victoria is without a Corrections Commissioner.
The corrections system needs strong leadership like never before with already this year a prisoner has been stabbed to death at the Port Phillip Prison, two prison officers were assaulted at Loddon Prison and reports of serious security short comings at the Karreenga Prison.
With rising prison violence and prisoner recidivism, Corrections Minister Gayle Tierney has failed to deliver the changes needed to toughen the corrections system with a three year blow out in the delivery of the Callinan Review parole recommendations and delays in the Harper Review Recommendations, following the tragic murder of Masa Vukotic.
The least Minster Tierney can do is finalise the appointment of a new Corrections Commissioner and start to fill the leadership vacuum that currently exists.