The former Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre has been converted into a temporary community residential facility, to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The facility provides short-term accommodation for men exiting the prison system, who would otherwise be homeless, while they work to find employment and longer-term housing.

Overview

Exterior courtyard with garden at the Maidstone community residential facilityAs we work to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19),  the former immigration detention centre at 53 Hampstead Road, Maidstone has been converted into a temporary location to house men exiting the prison system.

The residential facility accommodates up to 44 people, including those who have just been released and who are on parole.

Residents at the facility work alongside a team of case managers and a housing specialists to secure long-term housing and employment.

This temporary facility is one of a range of measures being implemented across the justice system in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Location 

The residential facility is located at the site of the former immigration detention centre at 53 Hampstead Road, Maidstone.

It provides single-room accommodation, shared communal facilities, living areas, kitchens, administrative offices and outdoor areas.

Security

All residents are risk-assessed, based on their offending history and behaviour, prior to being accommodated. 

Residents must agree to a Code of Conduct and are required to engage with health, employment and education services while living at the facility.

Security and supervision is provided on site 24/7 and any resident unable to satisfy the rules expected of them in the Code of Conduct will be removed from the facility.

kitchenette at Maidstone community residential facilityRefurbishment

Refurbishment was completed in late May, including painting, replacement of floors, upgrades to security and landscaping to ensure the facility is fit for purpose.

Operations

The facility commenced operating in June. It is operating on a temporary basis, with future needs being assessed based on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves.

Community Advisory Group

A Community Advisory Group (CAG) is helping to guide the development of the new facility and keep the local community informed and engaged as the project progresses. The group was established by the Department of Justice and Community Safety in July 2020.

It includes local residents and representatives from Victoria Police, Corrections Victoria and the City of Maribyrnong.

Community Advisory Group Members

  • The Hon. Wade Noonan MP (Chair)
  • Wayne Sievers (community member)
  • Katie King (community member)
  • Kate Good (community member)
  • Jacinta Pollard (community member)
  • Councillor Sarah Carter (Mayor, Maribyrnong City Council)
  • Corinne Cadilhac (Deputy Secretary, Justice Infrastructure and CEO, Community Safety Building Authority)
  • Jenny Hosking (Assistant Commissioner, Corrections Victoria)
  • Brooke Walker (Inspector, Maribyrnong Local Area Command, Victoria Police

Community Advisory Group Meeting Summaries

Frequently asked questions

 

Aim of the facility

The aim of the facility is to ensure that residents do not become vectors for the transmission of COVID-19 in the community and have a safe and temporary place to stay while they seek employment and long-term housing.

 

Selection of the site

Due to its previous history, the former Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre site had many of the features needed to offer this sort of temporary accommodation.

This includes the capacity to temporarily house groups of people while also ensuring social distancing and other COVID-related requirements can be followed.

 

Name of the facility

We don’t typically assign permanent names to temporary facilities. For now, we are referring to this location as ‘the facility at Maidstone’ or the ‘Maidstone community residential facility’.

 

Residents staying in the facility  

Up to 44 residents can be temporarily accommodated while they work to secure employment and long-term housing in the community.

Residents at the facility have either served their sentences or qualified for parole and are ready to be reintegrated back into the community.

Residents are expected to work hard to secure employment and long-term housing with the assistance of on-site case managers and housing specialists.

All residents have been interviewed and risk-assessed based on their past history and willingness to seek out and take advantage of education and employment opportunities offered at this facility.

 

Length of stay

Placement at the facility is temporary to assist residents in finding suitable long-term accommodation and transition into the community.

On average, resident are expected to stay at the facility for between 1-2 months. Residents cannot refuse an offer of suitable long-term accommodation.

Due to the impact of current COVID restrictions on the private rental market, it is anticipated the average stay of a resident at the facility will increase to approximately 3-4 months, until current restrictions are eased.

 

Risk assessment of residents

The facility will not house anyone convicted of a sexual offence or assessed as posing a significant risk to staff, other residents or the wider community.

Residents must agree to a Code of Conduct and are required to engage with transitional services available at the facility.

Security and supervision is provided on site 24/7 and any resident unable to satisfy the rules expected of them in the Code of Conduct will be removed from the facility.

Nobody assessed as potentially posing a risk to staff, other residents or the community will be housed at the facility.

 

Security and COVID measures

The refurbished facility contains a range of static security features including a secure entry/exit, extensive CCTV coverage, door alarms and an access pass system. Staff are on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week and a curfew for residents is in effect from 7PM to 7AM.

Mandatory temperature checks are required for all people entering the facility and we are regularly cleaning and disinfecting hi-touch areas in the facility. Physical distancing markers and hand sanitiser stations are placed throughout the facility.

Residents must also abide by broader coronavirus restrictions, or more stringent conditions in the facility as required.

Employment opportunities

Employment opportunities related to the government response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can be accessed through the Working for Victoria website (External link)

More information

Download the project fact sheet

If you have any queries about this project, email the project team (External link)

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