The department's Corporate Plan 2019-2023 sets out what the department will deliver over the next four years.

Department of Justice and Community Safety
Department of Justice and Community Safety
Date of Publication

A new approach. A new structure.

On 1 January 2019, the Department of Justice and Community Safety (previously Department of Justice and Regulation) was established as part of a Machinery of Government change to deliver on the Victorian Government’s reform agenda. Under a newly-appointed Secretary, the Board of Management was established to lead the government’s renewed focus on improving community safety, victim services, regulatory services and crime prevention, and building strong collaboration across the justice system.

The Board of Management is the peak body in the department’s corporate governance structure, advising the Secretary on the management and administration of the department to ensure compliance with government directives, guidelines and legislation. It is responsible for integrating governance functions across the department and working collaboratively with portfolio agencies.

On 26 August 2019, a new organisational structure took effect to support the department’s four ministers and delivery of the government’s priorities. The structure comprises the policy, program and corporate groups outlined below, with many of its services delivered via justice service centres across Victoria.

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Aboriginal Justice

The Aboriginal Justice group drives change and coordinates effort across the department to improve outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians, with a strong emphasis on supporting Aboriginal self-determination and working in partnership with Victorian Aboriginal communities, stakeholders and individuals. The group plays a significant role in the implementation of the Aboriginal Justice Agreement Phase 4 (AJA4), leads justice policy reform pertaining to Aboriginal Victorians and leads Victoria’s response for Native Title.

Justice Policy and Data Reform

The Justice Policy and Data Reform group is responsible for supporting the criminal and civil justice systems by linking and leveraging data between them, and working across government to better serve our common clients. The group collaborates with key entities across the justice system and the department to ensure policy reform is strategic, relevant, holistic and people-centred.

Service Delivery Reform, Coordination and Workplace Safety

The Service Delivery Reform, Coordination and Workplace Safety group is responsible for coordinating the justice and the social services systems to ensure they work effectively together and account for the specific needs of people and community. The group works to deliver and reform services to victims of crime, placing victims at the centre of our justice system. This includes driving reforms in family violence, mental health, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and workplace safety. The group is also responsible for a whole of department strategic approach to communications and stakeholder partnerships, and the delivery of our inclusion and intersectionality agenda.

Youth Justice

The Youth Justice group supports the delivery of stable and effective youth justice services. The group is responsible for continuing reforms to modernise Victoria’s youth justice system and building upon strong partnerships with the community sector and across government to improve outcomes for young people and the community.

Corrections and Justice Services

The Corrections and Justice Services group provides high quality justice services that are efficient, effective and integrated around community and client needs, including correctional services that help rehabilitate offenders and contribute to community safety. It also works with key partners to deliver quality health services to corrections and youth justice.


The Regulation group incorporates consumer protection, regulation, dispute resolution and assurance functions, which provide the Victorian community with a greater level of confidence and consistency when accessing services in the public and private sectors.

Police, Fines and Crime Prevention

The Police, Fines and Crime Prevention group works to build a safer and fairer Victoria through crime prevention, police family violence reforms, police policy and governance, management of the end-to-end infringements system and enforcement activities, and efforts to counter violent extremism.

Emergency Management Victoria

Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) is the system steward for emergency management in Victoria. EMV integrates policy, strategy, operational coordination, planning and investment across Victoria’s emergency management sector, contributing to safer, more resilient communities.

Corporate Governance and Support

The Corporate Governance and Support group provides critical corporate support services which are essential to the department’s ability to achieve its outcomes. This includes: helping to build a workforce that is safe, confident and capable; enabling the department to use standardised information to guide decisions; investing in technology and digital solutions; and driving productivity.

Community Safety Building Authority

The Community Safety Building Authority’s primary functions are planning, designing, procuring and building new infrastructure assets as well as upgrading existing ones. The authority supports the department to deliver necessary infrastructure to keep communities safe and meet the needs of a growing Victoria, both now and into the future.

Statement of Direction

The Statement of Direction was released in April 2019 to support the department’s delivery of government and ministerial priorities. It incorporates our vision of a connected justice and community safety system to build a safer, fairer and stronger Victoria. The statement sets the direction of the department and will enable us to meaningfully evaluate how we are making a difference by mapping out our outcomes, priorities, supporting actions and measures.

View the Statement of Direction.

The Corporate Plan 2019–23 sets out the strategic initiatives and projects that align to the Statement of Direction’s policy, delivery and supporting priorities, which will enable the department to work towards achieving its overall outcomes for the Victorian community.

Key challenges

The department faces a number of challenges in achieving its vision of a connected justice and community safety system to build a safer, fairer and stronger Victoria. The strategic initiatives and projects outlined in this Corporate Plan will play a significant role in mitigating these challenges.

Delivering a significant reform agenda

The department is delivering a significant reform agenda which requires a robust operating model, as well as infrastructure, staff capacity and capability to help it achieve its objectives.  Strong coordinated partnerships with key stakeholders will be essential to maximise the opportunity for reform. Attracting and retaining highly skilled and specialised staff in a competitive marketplace is essential to delivering reforms and remains a challenge.

To meet these challenges effectively and efficiently, the department is undergoing transformational change. These changes will enhance the services we deliver to the community and how we engage with stakeholders, relieve demand pressures, and strengthen staff wellbeing, capability and capacity.

Significant change can impact staff wellbeing and interrupt service delivery in the short term, if not well managed. The department has established robust change management processes, engaged with staff, and developed communication and change monitoring tools to support the transformation.

Continuing to focus on occupational health and safety

An effective occupational health and safety program is important to the wellbeing and productivity of departmental staff. This is key in a complex operational environment with increased demand for services and new areas of responsibility. At the same time, the department is focused on working more efficiently and changing the way we operate. Ensuring staff wellbeing through organisational transformation is critical. The department will continue to focus on health and safety in our workplace throughout 2019–23.

Embedding technological innovation

Data analysis capability and access to information will help the department deliver its strategic priorities. Technology facilitates efficient ways of working and underpins good governance. It also enables innovation and online service delivery, increasing access to justice services. The challenge of ensuring systems and software are stable and effective while building a technological platform that meets future needs is being addressed through the department’s Information Technology (IT) strategic investment strategy. Programs are in place to update and integrate the department’s IT infrastructure and enable our people through improved technology and streamlined systems and processes that support innovation.

Preparing for, responding to and recovering from disruption

Victoria’s population is increasing and its demographics are changing. At the same time, Victoria is facing new and escalating threats from climate change, cyber-attacks and terrorism. The department is driving significant reforms to develop safer and more resilient communities, businesses and organisations. It is also strengthening its own resilience through enhanced strategic crisis management, improved Information and Communication Technology (ICT) disaster recovery capability and a new Security Management Framework and Capability Plan.

Policy and delivery priorities


Integrating services and tailoring them for local communities

How will we support this priority?

  • Integrate services that are high quality, culturally responsive, fair and consistent
  • Solve problems locally, particularly in rural and regional communities
  • Empower community response, leadership and action.

Key initiatives and projects

Partnering with Aboriginal stakeholders and community members to identify and address local and regional justice issues

  • Supporting community-based workers through Local Justice Worker Program
  • Increasing participation of Aboriginal people in Work and Development Permit Scheme
  • Developing Aboriginal Youth Social and Emotional Wellbeing strategy for Youth Justice
  • Providing cultural and practical support to Aboriginal people taken into custody.

Working with communities to develop and implement place-based interventions to prevent crime and provide tailored support to at-risk groups

  • Expanding Youth Justice Community Support Services for at risk young people
  • Providing non-financial options to settle fine-related debt through the Work and Development Permit Scheme
  • Supporting engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • Trialling place-based interventions and community crime prevention initiatives
  • Place-based approach to corrections, including community-based orders
  • Supporting local governments to prevent crime and respond to violent extremism through local government networks
  • Engaging communities to design and implement local responses to crime prevention.

Driving system-wide reforms in corrections and youth justice to reduce reoffending, with a focus on integrating services

  • Implementing one clinical service focused on reducing reoffending
  • Opening a new fit-for-purpose youth justice facility, in the vicinity of Cherry Creek, with dedicated therapeutic treatment services
  • Developing new approaches to correctional practice that reflect contemporary objectives
  • Developing a new youth justice strategy to guide system-wide reforms
  • Embedding youth justice reform into the regional service delivery model.

Consultative planning for prisons expansion and tailoring prison services to the needs of rural and regional locations

  • Developing a long-term strategy and plan for prison system expansion
  • Expanding pathways for prisoners to access better specialist health services.

Addressing local safety issues through community consultation, effective governance structures and strategic initiatives

  • Establishing the NDIS Worker Screening Scheme
  • Multi-agency music festival roundtable to plan and support safe and vibrant festivals
  • Prioritising strategic road safety initiatives and reducing road fatalities in rural and regional areas
  • Updating management and governance structures for fire services in Victoria
  • Implementing an integrated, coordinated and comprehensive framework to support all levels of emergency management.

Applying an integrated approach to compliance and regulation, empowering and protecting communities and improving access to justice

  • Strengthening compliance with consumer laws in the solar energy industry
  • Championing renters’ rights and experiences through Office of the Commissioner for Residential Tenancies and legislative reform.

Ensuring the department and the justice system better respond to our communities’ diverse characteristics, attributes and experiences

  • Developing an overarching intersectionality framework
  • Creating an LGBTI justice strategy
  • Updating the Disability Action Plan and Cultural Diversity Plan.

Prioritising Victorians in need

How will we support this priority?

  • Support for priority groups based on the best available data
  • Promote access to dispute services for civil and criminal matters
  • Prevent entry into the criminal justice system through early intervention
  • Support Aboriginal self-determination
  • Build individual resilience and capability.

Key initiatives and projects

Taking an evidence-based approach to improving the safety and wellbeing of priority cohorts and reducing the risk of contact with the criminal justice system

  • Collaborating, funding and delivering specialist family violence reforms to increase the safety and wellbeing of Victorians
  • Developing approaches to reduce incarceration of women
  • Expanding the Work and Development Permit Scheme through pilots to targeted groups
  • Using regional knowledge and intelligence to link priority cohorts to appropriate services

Providing culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal people to support Aboriginal self-determination and reduce over-representation in the criminal justice system

  • Providing culturally appropriate family violence legal services to Aboriginal people
  • Delivering programs and prevention activities to support Aboriginal people to build stronger families and safer communities and reduce their over-representation in the criminal justice system
  • Supporting Aboriginal people to resolve disputes through culturally safe and appropriate methods of managing conflict
  • Recognising traditional owners and supporting Native Title determination outcomes
  • Expanding culturally appropriate options for Aboriginal people in contact with the criminal justice system, to improve justice outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Focusing on early intervention and crime prevention for at-risk groups and developing innovative approaches to reduce recidivism

  • Providing grants and programs to prevent and reduce negative contact with the criminal justice system and to support local communities to improve community safety
  • Countering violent extremism through improved case management and information sharing, and increasing availability of disengagement programs that specifically address the ideological basis of involvement in forms of violent extremism
  • Partnering to design and deliver a crime prevention reform agenda and strategy
  • Supporting whole of Victorian Government (WoVG) initiatives to reduce entries into the criminal justicesystem and recidivism
  • Developing approaches to pre- and post-release support for prisoners and offenders
  • Supporting community-based offenders and enhancing reintegration pathways
  • Using pre-plea options to divert young people from the criminal justice system
  • Supporting children and young people with complex needs, addressing the unique circumstances and context of youth offending and holding young offenders to account.

Improving justice services and implementing reforms to reduce discrimination and protect tenants

  • Implementing reforms to deliver better protections for tenants
  • Improving BDM service delivery and humanising processes for priority cohorts, including Aboriginal and LGBTI people.

Empowering community resilience, leadership and action that reflects our shared responsibility for mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery

  • Building and supporting individual and community resilience and capability to manage stresses and cope with shocks
  • Integrating services and activities to provide high quality, culturally responsive, fair and consistent support to communities.

Focusing on victims and survivors

How will we support this priority?

  • Embed victim-survivor experience in our work
  • Support timely and consistent service standards
  • Ensure that victim-survivors inform policy and service design.

Key initiatives and projects

Promoting a victim-survivor focus in policy and program design

  • Promoting the interests of victims and survivors in the administration of the justice system and the development and reform of workplace safety policy
  • Incorporating victim-survivors’ perspectives in family violence and emergency management policy development and implementation.

Improving supports and services to victim-survivors throughout contact with the justice system

  • Developing an administrative financial assistance scheme for victims of crime that prioritises victim restorative justice, family violence support and therapeutic needs
  • Improving the experience of family violence victim-survivors who are applying for review of their fines
  • Increasing access to justice for vulnerable witnesses by better supporting them to communicate their evidence to police and courts
  • Supporting victim-survivors in the event of critical incidents and violent crime.

Supporting the implementation of victim-focused redress schemes

  • Implementing the Victoria Police Restorative Engagement and Redress Scheme
  • Facilitating Victoria’s participation in the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

Strengthening stakeholder partnerships

How will we support this priority?

  • Collaborate across WoVG, with communities and the justice and social services sector
  • Leverage opportunities to share, design and co-sponsor outcomes
  • Build ways to collaborate and deepen relationships.

Key initiatives and projects

Developing a whole of department strategy for stakeholder engagement

  • Creating the Justice Partnership Committee as the primary mechanism to coordinate engagement with justice stakeholders
  • Creating a capability tool to assist the department in engaging with stakeholders in a consistent and coordinated way.

Collaborating with stakeholders and community members to support cultural safety and improve outcomes for traditional owners

  • Building the cultural safety of mainstream organisations who provide family violence services to Aboriginal people
  • Working in partnership with traditional owners to:
    • undertake a first principles review of the policy and legislative framework of the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010
    • conduct an initial outcomes review of the Gunaikurnai Settlement Agreement
    • negotiate changes to the Dja Dja Wurrung Settlement Agreement.

Partnering across WoVG to co-design and implement initiatives that support crime prevention and drive reforms in policing, corrections and youth justice

  • Supporting coordinated WoVG approaches to countering violent extremism across the risk response spectrum
  • Coordinating WoVG implementation of the National Strategy Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism
  • Supporting visible policing in crowded places beyond the public transport network
  • Delivering co-designed, place-based crime prevention and early intervention programs
  • Delivering grant programs that support crime prevention and community safety
  • Implementing Community Safety Statement initiatives and supporting the development of the annual Community Safety Statement, in partnership with Victoria Police
  • Providing platforms to discuss local crime issues and policing priorities
  • Partnering across government and with key sector stakeholders to address current and emerging issues in the corrections and youth justice systems
  • Collaborating with the Department of Health and Human Services on optimising service delivery to improve client outcomes, undertaking co-design and consultation.

Leveraging opportunities to partner with stakeholders to drive regulatory reforms and improve service delivery

  • Working with stakeholders on complex problems, including how liquor licensing policy settings can best address family violence, and to develop policy frameworks for gambling licences
  • Working with industry stakeholders to reform regulation of internet-based bookmakers
  • Developing reforms to make it illegal to deliberately underpay workers and making it faster and cheaper for workers to get their entitlements through the courts
  • Enhancing reporting capability and data sharing to support building sector dispute resolution
  • Partnering with the Department of Education and Training (DET) to deliver co-designed conflict resolution courses for DET frontline staff and managers.

Engaging with key stakeholders to drive cross-sector strategy and reforms that will improve road, workplace and community safety

  • Engaging with partners across government to develop a new road safety strategy
  • Reforming workplace safety legislation to introduce an offence of workplace manslaughter, in close consultation with WorkSafe, unions, employer groups, victims’ family representatives and legal stakeholders
  • Developing a cross-sector emergency management strategy and operational reforms
  • Strengthening interstate and overseas partnerships to learn and support each other to enhance ‘cross border’ emergency management capacity and capability.

Supporting priorities

Focusing on the following supporting priorities will enable us to realise our policy and delivery priorities and ensure we are in the best position to achieve our overall outcomes for the Victorian community. The department aims to foster an environment where our people enjoy coming to work and thrive in their roles, and where the systems and capabilities are in place to make it easier to collaborate across the department and beyond. We seek to use high-quality data to inform our work and provide value to the public through innovative approaches to service delivery.


Ensuring a workforce that is safe and confident

How will we support this priority?

  • Develop our people through a workforce and capability strategy
  • Promote a positive culture, staff safety and wellbeing
  • Embed high standards of integrity and conduct
  • Support diversity, inclusion and intersectionality.

Key initiatives and projects

  • Developing a comprehensive department-wide workforce and capability strategy
  • Developing strategies to build capacity and more sophisticated competencies in key areas and create career progression pathways for staff, particularly in frontline services
  • Building workforce capacity and capability to better understand family violence, helping staff develop skills to support victim-survivors as well as perpetrators who are our clients
  • Promoting healthy and safe workplaces for staff in frontline service delivery environments
  • Developing and supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and working towards Rainbow Tick accreditation for safe and inclusive practice and service delivery to LGBTI people
  • Enabling frontline emergency workers to access better mental health and wellbeing support services
  • Supporting the transition of staff to the Ballarat GovHub, a new state-of-the-art facility in central Ballarat
  • Leading and supporting the valuing of diversity and inclusion across the emergency management sector.

Delivering evidence-based outcomes

How will we support this priority?

  • Develop a strong evaluation culture that produces and values evidenced-based policy
  • Use data and evidence to support policy, service design and delivery
  • Embed a consistent WoVG outcomes approach.

Key initiatives and projects

  • Driving transformation that embeds WoVG outcomes reform within the department
  • Enabling more advanced use of data assets through central leadership of data functions and analysis to inform strategic direction, policy and service development and to support departmental transformation
  • Developing a co-designed monitoring and evaluation strategy to reflect Aboriginal values and measures of success and support positive change in Aboriginal justice outcomes through the AJA4
  • Promoting and supporting Aboriginal data sovereignty
  • Developing and implementing a revised integrated planning framework for the department, aligned
  • to the Statement of Direction
  • Developing a strategic evaluation plan and evaluation framework for the department, to ensure the impact of initiatives is captured and to foster a culture of evaluation and learning
  • Partnering with research organisations and investing in research activities to build the evidence required to inform our work
  • Translating evidence into practical tools to support policy makers in achieving better community safety outcomes.

Investing in technology and digital solutions

How will we support this priority?

  • Ensure systems and software are effective
  • Invest strategically in technology
  • Promote the use of a single data repository
  • Update and integrate IT infrastructure
  • Enable our people through improved technology and streamlined systems and processes.

Key initiatives and projects

  • Modernising the department’s technology services to support service delivery, drive innovation and adapt to meet changing community expectations
  • Working towards providing digital-first services to the Victorian community so that people can access convenient, online information and services
  • Developing a sector-wide ICT strategy for emergency management that captures management systems, applications, enterprise systems, and includes a future approach to sector ICT governance
  • Working to implement effective ICT solutions in key program areas to improve end-to-end service delivery, ICT security, reporting, and data analysis capabilities.

Driving productivity

How will we support this priority?

  • Establish customer focused, centralised corporate functions
  • Foster a culture of collaboration and learning
  • Develop clearer performance standards that drive innovation and efficiency
  • Redesign processes to realise savings.

Key initiatives and projects

  • Driving transformation to centrally managed, locally delivered departmental corporate services and governance
  • Implementing a new organisational structure which will enable a culture of collaboration
  • Working collaboratively across the department to develop outcome measures and improved reporting
  • Developing and implementing initiatives to improve efficiency and productivity
  • Improving and strengthening infrastructure delivery across the justice sector
  • Increasing joined-up approaches to investment and asset management across the emergency management system
  • Developing and implementing strategies to accommodate increased demand in the criminal justice system
  • Working with stakeholders in the emergency management sector to continue to build a culture of collaboration and learning.

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