03 February 2021

Tania Maxwell MP, Member for Northern Victoria, has raised concerns in Parliament about revelations that around 5,000 convicted criminals have been released early from prison under special COVID-19 emergency management day rules.

It follows Ms Maxwell’s Question Without Notice to former Attorney-General, Jill Hennessy, in December about a remarkable decrease during 2020 in the number of people held in Victorian jails.

Ms Maxwell said she was concerned by reports that some serious and violent offenders who were released early will, on average, have just under a month shaved off their sentence due to extra time spent locked down in their cells to prevent COVID-19 spread.

Ms Maxwell has asked the new Attorney-General, Jaclyn Symes, what extra publicly funded support the Government has made available to the victims of these perpetrators.

Quotes by Tania Maxwell MP

“I’m astounded by the possibility that serious offenders may have been released early due to coronavirus, especially in light of the fact millions of law-abiding Victorians endured weeks and months of continuous lockdown in their own homes.”

“Many victims of crime would have suffered additional anxiety, inconvenience and stress from the lockdowns, but also increased trauma and risk by the very prospect of their offenders being released from prison early.”