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Reinvigorating Community Corrections: A View From Down Under

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 65 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2003 Pages: 54-57
David Daley
Date Published
February 2003
4 pages
Focusing on the State of Victoria in Australia, this article addresses recent community corrections trends and patterns.
Noting that North American travelers would likely be struck by the similarities between the United States’ and Australia’s contemporary correctional patterns and trends, the author discusses the problems that befell Victoria’s community corrections programs in the 1990’s as a result of budgetary constraints. Discussing the year 2000’s Community Correctional Services Review conducted in Victoria, the author states that reviewers found the key challenges to improving Victoria’s correctional system as rising incarceration rates, high and rising violation rates, and rising recidivism rates. The review firm suggested that Victoria’s Community Correctional Service focus on a demand management approach, targeting resources towards those offenders who represent the highest risk to the community, and increasing the emphasis on managing offenders as opposed to enforcing orders. In order to restructure Victoria’s corrections system, the State government responded to the reviewers report in May 2001 and has dedicated considerable energy to building a demand model capable of projecting the population of offenders it will serve in the next 20 years. Furthermore, the State government began emphasizing public safety initiatives through building State crime prevention initiatives and increasing the number of corrections staff members in order to reduce the caseload numbers of existing staff. Additional initiatives implemented by the State of Victoria following the year 2000 review include developing an empirical risk-assessment tool in order to assess recidivism and expanding the range of offender programs available in Australia.