Friday, 12 April 2024

    Half-way house for ex-inmates

    Greg had spent so much time in jail – 18 years out of the past 25 – that he felt more at home in prison than the outside world, The Age reports.

    He was so institutionalised that he’d sometimes serve his parole in jail, just to stave off life out there.

    Life outside was full of appointments he wouldn’t keep, drug tests he wouldn’t pass and shame when he failed again.

    But for the first time in two decades, Greg, which is not his real name, doesn’t feel like that any more. He has been out of prison for almost four months now.

    “I’ve never lasted this long on parole – ever,” he said.

    It was supposed to be a temporary facility, slated to run for six months from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, to provide short-term accommodation to men who would otherwise be homeless and a risk of transmission.

    For a government that was considering strategies to reduce the ever-increasing numbers of prisoners in Victoria, the early signs from Maribyrnong have been positive and authorities are exploring whether the facility could become permanent.

    In last month’s state budget the life of the facility was extended for a third time, with more than $10 million set aside to keep the place going another year.

    “We know just how important a safe and stable home is when it comes to breaking the cycle of reoffending and getting lives back on track,” Minister for Corrections Natalie Hutchins said.


    ‘I’m not scared any more’: The unique halfway house helping ex-inmates adjust to the outside (The Age)

    Community residential safety facility (Community Safety Building Authority)