The major expansion of Victoria’s only maximum-security women’s prison has reached a critical new milestone with 120 new beds set to open at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.
Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney visited DPFC this morning to look at the three new accommodation units which mark the completion of the first stage of works.
The major upgrade of the prison includes a new gatehouse to improve barrier control and boost security, improvements to the medical centre, kitchen, and prison industries to encourage rehabilitation.
More beds will open in the next two years, including a dedicated mental-health unit, increasing the prison’s capacity by more than 150.
The prison – which marked its 20th anniversary last month – is named in honour of Dame Phyllis Frost, a tireless advocate for the rights of women prisoners who died in 2004.
The Andrews Labor Government is supporting programs that help female prisoners transition back into the community after their release in a bid to drive down recidivism rates.
The Government recently expanded the Women’s Mentoring Program with a $270,000 funding boost. The program pairs female prisoners with volunteers who help them re-integrate into the community.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney
“We know that in order to drive down reoffending rates, we need to upgrade infrastructure and invest in programs to rehabilitate prisoners across our prison system.”
“This is a significant milestone in the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre’s expansion – and we’ll keep working to keep Victorians safe.”