Creative Approach to Prison Management
Ask any criminologist what is a major contributor to the world’s prisons being so full and you are likely to get a one word answer: recidivism
It’s the chronic tendency on the part of some individuals to repeat their criminal or social misbehaviour, despite the consequences.
That inclination is so strong that even the fear of losing their freedom through further prison sentences is not enough to stop them reoffending. In Australia, for example, a 2009 report reveals that over half (56 per cent) of all prisoners have served a sentence in an adult prison prior to their present incarceration – a statistic that is similar to most other developed countries.
Bucking that trend, however, is Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, which has seen a steady decline in recidivism, from 47.6 per cent in 2002–03 to 33.9 per cent in 2008–09.
It has achieved that result by supporting a number of programmes designed to enhance the transition from prison to normal life and give inmates new skills on which they can build.
Some of these initiatives have been developed at the privately managed 823-bed, maximum security Port Phillip Prison in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital and Australia’s second largest city.
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