Cultural Review Of Victorian Prisons Begins

Prison staff, people in custody and community members can have their say as part of the independent review of Victoria’s prison system culture, with submissions opening today.

The Andrews Labor Government commissioned the review into the culture of public and private prisons to help drive a safer, more inclusive environment for all staff, promote rehabilitation for prisoners and reduce recidivism.

A panel of independent expert advisers is heading the review comprising of former Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Tim Cartwright APM, CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Jill Gallagher AO, and former Fair Work Commission Deputy President Greg Smith AM.

They are supported by Review Lead and former Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton.

Current staff and recent former staff (within the last five years) can share their experiences working in the custodial system and provide suggestions for change.

The review is seeking ways to create a safer, more inclusive workplace culture for custodial staff and provide them with appropriate training, supervision and support to do their jobs safely and effectively.

It will focus on upholding the rights of prisoners, ensuring prisoners are treated fairly, providing support for individual needs, and meeting the cultural safety needs of Aboriginal prisoners.

People currently or previously in custody, as well as their families, are also encouraged to make submissions to the review to help identify ways to create a safer and more humane corrections system.

Aboriginal people, including staff, people in custody, family members and advocates, are strongly also encouraged to participate in the review.

As an expert independent panel member, Ms Gallagher will guide the review’s focus on cultural safety and ensure it improves the experiences of Aboriginal people with the prison system.

The review has several options for people to contribute, including submissions, interviews, surveys and focus groups, which will be treated confidentially. Submissions from custodial staff, people in custody and other individuals close on 31 January 2022. Submissions from organisations close on 29 November 2021.

The review’s findings and recommendations will be provided to the Government in mid-2022. Information about making a submission to the review is available at

Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Natalie Hutchins

“I encourage current and former prison staff, prisoners and their families and loved ones to share their experiences with the review team, which can be done confidentially.”

“Victoria’s prisons are a critical part of our justice system – this review will help us shape how that part looks into the future.”