The Editor, The Age: Ombudsman George Brouwer`s report and your editorial on Victoria`s prisons ( The Age 31/8, 1/9) reveal that Victoria`s prisons are failing the community in the treatment of those incarcerated. Over the years an “out of sight, out of mind” policy has prevailed by those charged with protecting the community and rehabilitating offenders.
This lack of “openness” and public accountability keeps people ignorant of why 42% of released prisoners return within two years, why the medical and other needs of so many are not met and why a large portion of the $300 a day – that is the cost of every prisoner – is not allocated to proven programs that will keep them out of jail. Let us have public reporting from the prison visitors, from prison staff and from ex-prisoners so as to reveal how a prison-type institution can better safeguard the people .
– Keith McEwan, CLA Member, Castlemaine, Vic.