Southwick – Corrections in COVID chaos

Liberal Party Victoria

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Corrections in COVID chaos

In yet another massive Daniel Andrews’ COVID failure, six major Victorian prisons have been sent intolockdown.

The return of a positive test for a prison officer involved in inmate transfers at Ravenhall Prison has triggered the lockdown of over 3,900 inmates across the state in prisons based in Melbourne, Ararat, Ballarat, Sale, Geelong and Castlemaine.

This incident is the third serious COVID-19 breach in the justice system in the last week, following:

· The movement of a prisoner positive for COVID-19 from the Metropolitan Assessment Centre (MAP) to Metropolitan Remand Centre (MRC) whilst awaiting a test results.

· A COVID-19 positive youth justice educational coordinator working between the metropolitan Parkville and regional Malmsbury Youth Justice Centres.

These latest incidents have heighted calls for the early release of inmates due to the inability of the Andrews Labor Government to maintain a safe and secure corrections system.

COVID-19 shouldn’t be a get out of jail free card and Daniel Andrews and his new Minister for Corrections mustn’t allow our prisons to become the new quarantine hotels. Daniel Andrews’ inability to manage Victoria’s corrections system during COVID-19 is clearly placing the safety of the broader community at risk.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Corrections, David Southwick:

“Victoria is not in this position because of bad luck, we are in this position due to bad decisions around hotel quarantine and failures to follow up clusters by the Andrews Labor Government.

“If Daniel Andrews can’t even keep prisons free of COVID-19, what chance does he have of keeping the community safe?

“If this is how corrections are running our prison system, what hope do they have in securing Labor’s botched quarantine hotels?”

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