The new medium-security Ravenhall Correction Centre will create 700 new jobs when it becomes operational later this year, the state government says.
Victoria’s newest prison, near the Metropolitan Remand Centre and Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, is nearing completion, with the creation of about 1400 construction jobs.
Corrections Minister Gayle Tierney last week inspected the jail, which is being built at a cost of $670 million and will have capacity for 1000 male inmates.
“As well as keeping our community safe, this huge project is boosting our economy and creating thousands of jobs,” Ms Tierney said.
“The Ravenhall Correctional Centre will focus on reducing re-offending, especially amongst Aboriginal prisoners, younger prisoners, and those with a mental illness.”
Melton mayor Sophie Ramsey welcomed the centre’s arrival.
“Council welcomes this news, which will help address the current imbalance between the number of residents and the number of local jobs,” she said.
Brimbank deputy mayor Georgina Papafotiou was also enthusiastic.
“The Ravenhall Corrections Centre is an important project for Melbourne’s west and Brimbank,” she said. “The opportunity for long-term sustainable employment is a huge benefit to our community.
The GEO Group has been contracted by the state government to run the prison.
Ravenhall Correctional Centre will include 75 dedicated forensic mental-health beds, more than doubling the current number across the system, as well as providing mental health services to a further 100 prisoners.
The prison will be wired with more than 500 CCTV cameras and iris-scanning technology and will have a fire pit where traditional ceremonies can be held for the prison’s Aboriginal population.
The cells, built as separate modules off-site, have been designed to help prevent the type of unrest seen at other prisons in recent years.
with Tom Cowie (The Age)