Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Community Correction Order Breaches

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (23:45): My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Corrections and concerns community correction orders. Last sitting week I read in a motion which: … requires the Leader of the Government, in accordance with Standing Order 11.01, to table in the Council by Tuesday, 18 August 2020, the current statistics regarding the breaches of CCOs in Victoria.

I would like to start by noting that in the last term the Andrews government passed major legislative reforms to community correction orders, including preventing courts from applying them to the most serious violent offences like rape and murder. This change indicates that the government acknowledges shortfalls within the way CCOs are employed. In addition to this I placed a question on notice on 2 May in an effort to seek the number of registered CCO breaches. To my astonishment in both instances the government has refused to table any updated statistics about CCO breaches. In a written response Minister Carroll stated that, and I quote: Quantifying the contribution of CCO breaches to the overall recidivism rate with available data sets is not feasible at this time. However, it is known that the rate of serious re-offending by people undertaking a CCO is relatively low. Now, can anyone in this chamber define ‘relatively low’. It is quite subjective. I beg, I ask: if the corrections minister does not know how many people are repeatedly breaking the law, then who does? I think the community and by extension this Parliament has a right to know about how many people have already broken the law and are breaking the law again. If the state government now has a deep seated interest in efficiency and the feasibility of the public service, I suggest they start finding savings elsewhere. After all, Victoria has one of the highest rates of funding per prisoner per year. But despite all of the money in the world that taxpayers give prisoners while locked up, we cannot seem to find out how many are flouting the laws they have already broken once released. Finally, I would like to think that understanding the number of people who are leaving prison and flouting laws repeatedly would help explain Victoria’s high rate of recidivism. It is my hope that whatever departmental arrangements prevent the minister from knowing the number of CCO breaches can be changed to ensure we have a holistic view of Victoria’s corrections system. Therefore, the action that I seek is for the minister to commit to recording and publishing the number of CCO breaches recorded in 2019–2020.


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