This week we had the pleasure of listenint to: 
Madonna Morton, Acting Deputy Secretary, Corporate Governance and Support.
Michelle Wood Executive Director of the West Area
Paul Fitzpatrick, the Assistant Deputy Secretary of Justice Service in Victoria.
The Topic was  “Issues on Housing for People leaving prison”

Justice Services is the part of the Department of Justice and Community Safety that looks after people who have left prison.
There are 11 Public Prisons and one transition centre; 3 Private Prisons in Victoria, with 6,600 people currently in prison consisting of 6,300 men (95%) and 300 (5%) women (at a peak there is around 8,200 people in prison)
Madonna spoke about the importance of house for these people, as it builds self-worth and dignity, but finding accommodation for them can be difficult, for reasons that we can understand.

Michelle spoke about getting people involved in community activities and meeting people, part of her job is finding volunteering areas for them to be part of, like tree planting and clean up Australia day.
The team shared some interesting number with us like 11% of people in prison are Aboriginal (this has increased from 6%) and over half of these (6%) are women.
16% of prisoners are aged 50 years and over (and this is increasing) while 11% are people aged 25 years and under (which is decreasing)
Assault is the most prevalent crime committed (37%) followed by burglary (14%), other property offences (11%) and sexual offences (10%).
In terms of length of sentence, one to five years sentence is nearly half the prison population (49%), followed by 5-10 years (16%) and 10 years and over (9%).
This means more people moving in/out of the system.
Why is housing most important, it is a proven area that assists in preventing them from re-offending.
It was a very thought-provoking presentation, as it is known that people who feel safe and secure, and can live independently, and make strong positive social connections are a better chance of staying out of the prison system.