Prison capacity planning

Australia Victoria

The demand pressures on the prison system are becoming unsustainable, according to this report.

2012–13 forecasts by Corrections Victoria (CV) indicate that by 2016 the male and female prison systems will not have sufficient capacity to meet increases in prisoner numbers.

A 38 per cent increase in prisoner numbers over the past decade and a heavy reliance on temporary beds has resulted in the existing prison infrastructure nearing its capacity limits. Since May 2011, the male prison system has been operating close to or above 95 per cent utilisation. The number of prisoners held in police cells in 2012 has reached the highest levels since 2002.

Despite the current state of the prison system, CV has been active over the past 10 years in planning for growing prisoner populations, but could improve its forecasting approach. CV’s long-term planning has included initiatives that would have alleviated the current overcrowding problems. However, the success of this planning has been compromised by delays in the construction of one prison and the funding of a new prison.

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