Through a range of assessments to ensure tailored support is provided to all prisoners through programs, education and referrals.

Government department's and other visiting community service organisations offer all prisoners assistance with a range of pre-release matters including but not limited to, identification, housing and accommodation, alcohol and other drugs, Centrelink, employment, legal matters and medical assistance.

Once released from prison, all offenders have access to the support services and programs available to the general community. For more information, please refer to After-prison support. (External link)

 

Identification

Prisoners being released need to ensure they have current identification documents (ID). Identification is required to access a range of services including Centrelink and Medicare and to get a job, open a bank account and more. Prior to release, prisoners are assisted to apply for identity documents such as a birth certificates, Medicare and proof-of-age cards.

 

Housing and accommodation

Many prisoners being released may experience issues with housing and homelessness. Public and social housing resources are limited, in high demand and have long waiting lists. Support is available in prison from visiting housing workers who can provide information about housing options and make referrals to housing support services on release. Prisoners are advised to begin considering housing options well before leaving prison.

Offenders released on parole are required to have their housing plans approved by the Adult Parole Board.

 

Finance and Centrelink

Centrelink Prison Liaison Officers assist prisoners to determine their eligibility for Australian Government payments and services prior to release, additionally, some prisoners being released may be eligible for a crisis payment. If a prisoner is released unexpectedly or direct from court, they are encouraged to visit their local Centrelink office as soon as possible with their release documents, for assistance with payments and services.

 

Employment

Education Officers in prisons can provide prisoners with information about employment agencies and services, including linking in with community networks and assisting with further secondary education where eligible.

 

Legal matters

Prisoners get help to access legal support and advice before they leave prison, so outstanding legal matters are addressed. Matters may include unpaid debts, fines and warrants, intervention orders, and family and custody matters.

 

Alcohol and other drugs (AOD)

Prisoners requiring treatment for substance misuse can be seen by AOD counsellors in prison and can also be referred to treatment services in the community prior to release.

Offenders with a parole or a community correction order (CCO) with AOD treatment conditions will be referred to required services by their Community Correctional Services case officer.

 

Medical needs

Prison health staff will develop a discharge summary for every prisoner to take with them when they leave prison. If a prisoner has an appointment with a specialist in the public health system scheduled for after release from custody, information on the appointment will be included within this discharge summary. Health staff may also develop a discharge plan for the prisoner to support them to access healthcare in the community.

 

Community Correctional Services (CCS)

Prisoners who are released under parole or a community correction order (CCO) will be provided with information about their order and the Community Correctional Services location to which they will report. Prior to release, prison transitional staff will arrange an induction appointment for the prisoner with their supervising CCS case worker.

 

Transport from prison

For prisoners who are not being collected by family or friends, the prison may help with transport to the nearest train or bus station.

Prisoners are required to arrange their transport (and request any necessary assistance) prior to release. Transport arrangements are discussed as part of the Transitional Assistance Program. For more information, refer to Programs. (External link)

 

Personal property and collection times

Upon reception into prison, remand prisoners attend the Remand Release Assistance Program (RRAP) where they are provided with information about what to do if they are released unexpectedly from court and how to collect clothes, valuables and monies from the prison, as it is currently not possible to transport all personal property with prisoners to court hearings. The prison can only release property at certain times – people wishing to collect property must call the prison in advance to make arrangements. For more information regarding the RRAP, refer to Transitional Programs (External link) . For more information regarding each prison location, refer to Prisons. (External link)

Property collection times for each prison are as follows:

Barwon Prison (External link)
8am – 4pm
Monday – Friday

Beechworth Correctional Centre (External link)
Please phone prison to arrange

Dame Phyllis Frost Centre (Women only) (External link)
Any day until 4pm
Seven days a week

Dhurringile Prison (External link)
During business hours
Seven days a week

Fulham Correctional Centre (External link)
8.30am – 4pm
Seven days a week

Hopkins Correctional Centre (External link)
7am – 7pm
Weekdays
7am - 4pm
Weekends

Langi Kal Kal Prison (External link)
Please phone prison to arrange

Loddon Prison Precinct (Middleton) (External link)
Please phone prison to arrange

Marngoneet Correctional Centre (Karreenga) (External link)
Please phone prison to arrange

Melbourne Assessment Prison (External link)
9am – 4.30pm
Seven days a week

Metropolitan Remand Centre (External link)
9.15am – 5.15pm
Weekdays (except Tuesdays)
Weekends 8.15am – 4.15pm

Port Phillip Prison (External link)
8am – 4pm
Monday to Friday (48 hours notice)

Ravenhall Correctional Centre (External link)
During business hours
Monday – Friday

Tarrengower Prison (women only) (External link)
8am – 4pm
Seven days a week

Please phone at least 24 hours prior to collection to notify the prison that you would like to collect property, and to confirm business hours.

Once released from prison, offenders have access to the support services and programs available to the general community. For more information, refer to After-prison support (External link)

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