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LfG 18/19 Seminar Two: Law, Order and Justice

The Karreenga Prison facility, from the Wathaurong language 'to grow', is located outside Lara. This facility is a medium security protection prison and is an open environment with shared-style housing and 300 beds.

During our tour we learned that the prisoners are responsible for and involved in many areas that keep the facility running, such as: the budgeting involved in the planning and cooking their meals, cleaning, gardening and baking. The prison bakery involves shift work and supplies all baked goods to Victorian prisons. This is a functioning business which enables integration into the workforce for life after release.

Karreenga aims to mimic real-life as much as possible to give pre-release prisoners that best shot at rehabilitation.

We also learned about Karreenga's service delivery methodology: the 'Marngoneet Approach'. This involves promoting leadership at all levels and creating a safer Victoria. Our group met two prisoners who shared their stories and their participation in the prison's leadership program. Both had heartbreaking stories describing how lives can be changed in an instant. Their leadership skills have helped them to take control of their futures, drive themselves to make change within themselves, and prevent similar circumstances occurring to others. This is testament to how well Karreenga's service delivery methodology is working.

During our tour of the Geelong Police Station we saw the holding cells, Divisional Operations Support Office, firing range, and scope of survellience cameras in Geelong. We also gained an insight into the current day-to-day challenges facing Victoria Police. For example, the growth of emergency enquiries from 40,000 to 100,000 in the last three years has led to a new recruitment drive at Victoria Police.

We discovered how police have changed their approach to be more proactive within the community, particularly regarding the current problem of youth stealing vehicles. Victoria Police aims to lead youth away from crime before they are committed, as opposed to the reactive method of catch and release.

We gained insights into Victoria Police's values regarding leadership, including:

  • How important it is to ensure everyone understands reasons for change.
  • Teamwork means sharing, showing, and valuing people.
  • Leadership journeys can be one of self-reflection, growth, and learning.

Finally, we were able to discover many things about the day in the life of a magistrate. Currently many magistrates are overloaded, therefore, new processes and an increase in magistrate numbers are being planned.

We learned that the community focus is on community corrections orders. Despite thousands of positive outcomes resulting from corrections orders, the media tends to only report the negative outcomes. Magistrates note, however, that cases are much harder to judge when they have all the facts presented to them in the courtroom, as opposed to the facts only reported in the media.



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