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Calls to fully fund family calls from prison

The Centre has joined a group of community, legal, and social services calling on the state government to fully fund the cost of making phone calls from prison.

On Mother’s Day, the coalition working with or on behalf of people in prison and their families wrote to the Treasurer, the Minister for Corrections, and the Minister for Children to call on the Victorian government to fully fund the cost of making phone calls from prison.

The cost of a 12-minute phone call (the maximum duration allowed) from a Victorian prison to a mobile phone is currently nearly $7, which is substantially higher than other states and territories in Australia.
 
This means incarcerated parents must either forego communication with their children or rely on families already doing it tough outside to cover the cost. Children have a right to contact with their parents and experience long-term harm without it, so the status quo harms the estimated 7,000 Victorian children with a parent in prison at any one time. It also contravenes the clear evidence that strong family connection is one of the strongest protective factors against reoffending post-release, extending that harm to families and communities across the state.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people face unique and compounded experiences of trauma while incarcerated. Remaining connected to one’s culture, family, and community can minimise that trauma, thereby reducing the risk of recidivism. Reducing recidivism and getting people out of the quicksand of the legal system helps the individual and has significant community benefits. It is essential in progressing on the path towards self-determination via Treaty and achieving the justice targets under the Closing the Gap agreement.

View the joint letter to Ministers here.

Joint letter – Mothers Day calls from prison

Another Mother's Day with no phone calls. 
Calls from prison cost nearly $7 for 12 minutes. It's more than most families can afford.

 

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