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GEO Consortium wins Ravenhall bid

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An artist’s impression of the Ravenhall Prison in Melbourne’s west.

consortium led by The GEO Group ➊AAustralia has won the contract for the $670 million Ravenhall Prison project in Melbourne’s west. The GEO Consortium will finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the new correctional facility with construction commencing next year. A medium security men’s prison, it will initially be a 1000-bed facility with the capacity to house 1300 prisoners. The complex will include a 75-bed mental health unit, together with specialist mental health services for a further 100 prisoners. Following completion at the end of 2017, GEO will operate and maintain the prison for 25 years. GEO’s consortium partners are John Holland, Honeywell and Capella Capital. “GEO Consortium comprises experienced operators who understand how the corrections system and public private partnerships work in Victoria,” said the Minister for Corrections Edward O’Donohue at the contract signing. “Ravenhall will have a strong focus on community safety, with the operator, GEO Australia, delivering a range of programs

designed to reduce reoffending when prisoners are released back into the community.”

maximum impact in minimum time for prisoners with short sentences.

Managing director of The GEO Group Australia, Pieter Bezuidenhout, said the centre would feature the latest in correctional services, hightech security equipment and innovative inmate programs. A flexible prison design will allow for future changes to cater for prisoners with different needs.

Rehabilitation and intervention programs will be delivered by approximately 80 dedicated programs staff and will result in 30 per cent or more of the prison population participating in programs at any given time during the day.

The facility will provide unprecedented levels of in-prison and post-release programs aimed at reducing reoffending rates and helping offenders reintegrate into society. GEO will establish collaborative partnerships with community-based organisations to assist with the reintegration of offenders. This will allow prisoners released from custody to continue rehabilitation programs and training courses in the community. The accommodation units will include a specific unit for offenders with challenging behaviors that will enable the delivery of group and individual evidence-based programs. Leading-edge information technology will be used to address the learning needs of young offenders and to deliver programs in-cell for

In a first for the Australian corrections industry, GEO’s contract includes bonuses for meeting targets to cut recidivism rates. “We welcome the Victorian government’s unique scheme to encourage rehabilitation and reduce recidivism and look forward to partnering successfully with them,” said Mr Bezuidenhout. The Ravenhall Prison project will create 700 jobs during peak construction periods and 600 ongoing jobs. More than 50 healthcare professionals will provide general health services through GEO Care, while Forensicare will deliver specialist forensic mental health services. Partner organisations that will provide support services in the prison and post-release include the Kangan Institute, YMCA, Western Suburbs Indigenous Gathering Place Association and Melbourne City Mission.

December 2014  
December 2014