The Victorian Government has announced major reforms to the men’s prison system to deliver the modern infrastructure and services needed over the next decade.  

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been fewer prisoners in the system, and the number of people in prison is expected to remain low for some time. There has also been changes in prisoner profiles, with less demand for minimum-security beds.  

As part of the reforms, Corrections Victoria will open the new maximum-security Western Plains Correctional Centre in Lara in mid-2025.  

Opening new accommodation will pave the way for decommissioning ageing infrastructure in public prisons to create a safer system that better supports people in custody and prison staff.  

Corrections Victoria will decommission ageing infrastructure across the public system, including beds at Barwon, Marngoneet and Hopkins. Other new beds and infrastructure at existing prisons will progressively open over the coming years.  

Following significantly reduced demand for minimum-security beds, Dhurringile Prison will close at the end of August 2024 and people in custody will be transferred to other suitable prison locations. 

Corrections Victoria will provide a range of supports to Dhurringile staff. Dhurringile staff will have the opportunity to transfer into roles at other prisons, other parts of DJCS or the Victorian Public Service. 

Separately, the private operator of Port Phillip Prison, G4S, has been notified that the Port Phillip Prison contract will come to an end in December 2025.  

With the decision to end the contract with G4S and recent changes in prisoner numbers, there is an opportunity to transition people in custody at Port Phillip Prison to the recently completed Western Plains and other prison accommodation.  

Corrections Victoria will work closely with Port Phillip operator G4S over the next 18 months to support a smooth transition. Port Phillip staff will be supported by G4S and there may be opportunities for them to consider roles in the public prison system when Port Phillip closes in December 2025. 

Corrections Victoria acknowledges the significant service and contributions of Dhurringile and Port Phillip Prison staff.  

Corrections Victoria will continue to regularly review the prison system to ensure it has the appropriate accommodation, services and infrastructure in place.  

The system will have flexibility to open additional beds if needed, in response to any fluctuations in the number of people in prison.