Victoria’s state government has greenlit a set of proposals to curb violent sex offenders from re-offending after their release, and has pledged a mammoth $84 million towards that goal.
The news follows today’s release of a long-awaited report into the issue, which chronicles the state’s systemic failings in the matter, and provides 35 recommendations for improvement.
It was commissioned after the brutal murder of Masa Vukotic by Sean Christian Price, a recently released rapist who was under a supervision order at the time of the killing.
In response, Victoria’s deputy premier James Merlino said “we made a promise to Masa’s family that we would implement these changes.”
“It is unacceptable that we had someone as dangerous as Price out in the community and free to roam.
If you are a danger to the community you will not be in the community.”
While the funding is yet to be officially announced as part of Wednesday’s state budget, $54M has been earmarked for a housing facility for offenders who have finished their sentence, but are not considered suitable for a return to the wider community.
Authors of the report have made it very clear the accommodation won’t be used to detain released offenders indefinitely, nor will the supervision orders be expanded without good reason.
A further $18M will be dedicated to the supervision of offenders with other extenuating factors, including serious mental health issues or cognitive impairment.
Merlino said the changes are a reaction to “the systemic and legislative failures in this case because there was not the capacity through the [supervision] orders to address violent behaviour or mitigate the risk around violent behaviour.”
Price is currently serving a life sentence for the 2015 murder of Vukotic, with a 38-year non-parole period.
Source: Guardian Australia.