An upgraded and expanded medical unit and programs centre is now operating at Loddon Prison thanks to an investment of almost $9.2 million by the Andrews Labor Government.
The Loddon Medical Unit and Programs Space, the Yaluk Centre, includes new consultation and treatment rooms, a pharmacy, increased space for rehabilitation programs and six new video courts.
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards today officially opened the new centre, which was funded in the 2015–16 Victorian Budget and created around 100 jobs during construction.
Prisoners are able to access primary health care services at the Yaluk Centre, along with a pharmacy for medication management, an Opioid Substitute Therapy Program, dental services and mental health care services.
The new building also includes increased space for the delivery of behaviour-based rehabilitation programs including those for drugs and alcohol, as well programs for specific offending behaviour, including family violence.
The additional space also means staff can run Koori programs at Loddon, such as the Healing workshop—Beyond Survival.
The six new video courts will help improve efficiency in the court system by providing more space for hearings and reducing the need for prisoners to travel for court appearances.
Yaluk means river or creek and was chosen in consultation with the traditional owners, the Dja Dja Wurrung.
Loddon is a medium-security prison, which emphasises rehabilitation and transitional management of prisoners to prepare them for release.
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“The new centre will mean medical staff, program staff and service providers will be located in one place, allowing for more holistic and collaborative care.”
“This has also been an important project for the local community, creating employment for 100 people and work for local and regional subcontractors who were hired throughout construction.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney
“Loddon had outgrown its previous medical facilities and the new medical unit and programs space means a safer and more humane environment for prisoners and staff.”
“The Yaluk Centre provides additional medical services including dental x-rays, as well as more space for one-on-one drug and alcohol treatment and other rehabilitation programs.”