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Improved prison security gets results

Improved prison security gets results

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says that a decrease in prisoner escapes is leading to increased public safety.

There was a record low in the last financial year of one escape from custody, while in the 2013/14 year to date there have been no escapes.

In total, between 2002/03 to 2007/08 there were 131 escapes from custody, compared to 35 from 2008/09 to the present day.

“Our Corrections officers deal with volatile and often dangerous criminals every day,” says Mrs Tolley.

“While there is always the potential for serious incidents, these figures highlight the improvements in security and risk management from the Department.

“Prisoners are also being kept busy behind the wire, with many more opportunities for rehabilitation, which makes them easier to manage.

“This Government has funded huge increases in drug and alcohol programmes, alongside a targeted education and skills training strategy, which will better prepare offenders for life after release, making them less likely to reoffend.

“Looking ahead, $81.3 million is being invested in upgrading five prisons, which will improve security even further, as well as providing better facilities for prisoner rehabilitation and training.

“And a $27.8 million expansion of audio-visual links (AVL) to a further 14 District Courts and nine prisons is resulting in fewer prisoners having to leave their secure facility to make court appearances, which removes any threat of escape from an escort.

“Some prisoners will always pose a risk, but I am confident that Corrections is doing more than ever before to ensure public safety.”

Escapes from custody include prison breakouts, absconding, escape from escort and breach of temporary release.

Reoffending has reduced by 11.7 per cent, resulting in 8636 fewer victims of crime each year, against the Better Public Services target of a 25 per cent reduction by 2017.

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