Thursday, 9 February 2023

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: prison programs

Ministers statements: prison programs

Enver ERDOGAN (Northern Metropolitan – Minister for Corrections, Minister for Youth Justice, Minister for Victim Support) (12:23): I rise to update the house on the good work happening across our corrections system to keep Victorians safe and help people to turn their lives around. Since being appointed as the Minister for Corrections, I have had the privilege to meet many of the great people that work at our corrections facilities. Just last month I was at the Loddon Middleton and Tarrengower prisons.

At Loddon I was pleased to see the VET centre of excellence delivered in partnership between Corrections Victoria, Kangan Institute and industry. In this program, people in custody participate in a 12-week program to gain nationally recognised training in civil construction skills. They are also connected with major employers, which makes it that bit easier for people to find employment once they are released, because we know that having a job is so important to helping someone turn their life around.

At Tarrengower women’s prison I was grateful to meet with the dedicated staff as well as a number of partner agencies who run programs for women in custody. The Greyhound Adoption Program is a particular highlight. In this program women in custody train rescued greyhounds and prepare them for adoption. This program not only helps rescued dogs find their forever families but gives women in custody the chance to learn valuable life skills and gain a TAFE qualification too. There are also education and employment programs providing women in custody with real-life skills in hospitality, agriculture and even warehousing.

These industry programs are providing practical training and job readiness to set people up for success when they are released. I would like to thank the staff at Loddon Middleton and Tarrengower prisons and right across our corrections system for the work they do every day in keeping Victorians safe.

The PRESIDENT: Before I call Dr Bach, can I acknowledge former member Sue Pennicuik, who is in the chamber today for question time. I know there have been other former members here for inaugural speeches, but the practice is that we do not acknowledge them for inaugural speeches. But Ms Pennicuik is here for question time, so I think she deserves to be acknowledged.