Overview of Victoria’s prisons
In Victoria, there are 11 publicly operated prisons (listed in ‘Correctional facilities’, below), three privately operated prisons (Fulham Correctional Centre, Port Phillip Prison and Ravenhall Correctional Centre) and one transition centre (Judy Lazarus Transition Centre).
Each prison has a particular profile or purpose and prisoners are placed accordingly. This is different to other jurisdictions in Australia, where the placement of prisoners in facilities can be determined by geography. Across Victorian prisons, there is a range of accommodation and facilities, varying security arrangements and different programs.
Offenders who are subject to detention orders under the post sentence scheme are detained in a facility within a prison for the period of their order. For more information about the post sentence scheme, see ‘Post Sentence Authority’.
Youth justice facilities
The two youth justice facilities in Victoria are the:
- Melbourne Youth Justice Centre (Parkville);
- Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre (Malmsbury).
The correctional facilities in Victoria are the Barwon Prison (Lara); Beechworth Correctional Centre (Beechworth); Dame Phyllis Frost Centre – women only (Ravenhall); Dhurringile Prison (Murchison); Fulham Correctional Centre (Fulham); Hopkins Correctional Centre (Ararat); Judy Lazarus Transition Centre (West Melbourne); Karreenga Annexe (Lara); Langi Kal Kal Prison (Langi Kal Kal); Loddon Prison (Castlemaine); Marngoneet Correctional Centre (Lara); Middleton Annexe (Castlemaine); Melbourne Assessment Prison (West Melbourne); Metropolitan Remand Centre (Ravenhall); Port Phillip Prison (Truganina); Ravenhall Correctional Centre (Ravenhall) and Tarrengower Prison – women only (Maldon).
Secure residential facilities
The secure residential facilities in Victoria are:
- Corella Place (Ararat);
- 228 (Ararat);
- Emu Creek (Langi Kal Kal).
Secure residential facilities accommodate serious sex offenders who are subject to supervision orders.
Residential treatment facilities
If an offender requires more intensive treatment and intervention, they can be housed in a residential treatment facility, such as the Rivergum Residential Treatment Centre.
Note that secure residential facilities and residential treatment facilities are treated differently under the Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic).
Prisons’ psychiatric facilities
General practitioners and qualified mental health nurses provide mental health care at all prisons in Victoria. Most prisons also receive specialist support from visiting psychiatrists.
Prisoners who require compulsory mental health care are transferred to the Thomas Embling Hospital under the Mental Health Act 1986 (Vic). Compulsory treatment is not provided in prisons in Victoria. (See ‘Compulsory mental health treatment and patients’ in Chapter 8.4: Mental illness.)
For male prisoners, the Acute Assessment Unit at the Melbourne Assessment Prison is a special mental health unit that provides ongoing treatment for male prisoners with serious psychiatric conditions. The St Paul’s Unit at the Port Phillip Prison provides a recovery and rehabilitation program for adult male prisoners with significant mental health issues. Male prisoners can also access ongoing treatment for psychiatric problems at the Thomas Embling Hospital. Ravenhall Correctional Centre has inpatient and outpatient forensic mental health services.
Female prisoners with serious psychiatric problems who require ongoing treatment can be treated in the Marrmak Unit at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, or in the Thomas Embling Hospital.
Victorian prisons and COVID-19
For detailed information about the changes to procedures in Victoria’s prisons due to COVID-19, see https://www.corrections.vic.gov.au/covid19.