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Women's prison marks 20 years of service to the Victorian community
Victoria’s only maximum security women’s prison marked the significant milestone of 20 years of operation on Monday, 22 August 2016. The Dame Phyllis Frost Centre (DPFC) – originally named the Metropolitan Women’s Correctional Centre – opened in 1996 and was later renamed in honour of Dame Phyllis Frost, a tireless advocate for the rights of women prisoners, who died in 2004. The prison now houses about 400 prisoners, more than three times its initial capacity.
It is currently undertaking a major expansion involving an additional 150 beds, including a number for prisoners requiring mental health treatment. Funding has also been allocated for a new medical centre, kitchen and prison industries. The Victorian Government will provide a further $3.6 million for a therapeutic family violence program and sexual assault counselling at DPFC and the state’s other female prison, Tarrengower. This funding is part of the government's response to the recent recommendations of the Royal Commission on Family Violence, recognising that many women prisoners have themselves been victims of family violence.
“Our women’s prison system is constantly evolving, to ensure we are well placed to meet the changing profile of women in custody. The staff at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre have embraced these challenges and I am very proud of their consistently high standard of work over the last two decades", Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard said.