Ararat prison contraband crackdown

WIMMERA police are cracking down on the supply of contraband items to inmates at an Ararat prison.

Wimmera Superintendent Graham Kent said police worked with Corrections Victoria staff to screen visitors to Hopkins Correctional Centre on Saturday.

"I'm pleased to say there were no major discoveries," he said.

"However, we still know it is a risk we have to be very vigilant about."

The operation was particularly focused on preventing the supply of drugs to prisoners.

Mr Kent said some visitors were searched.

People who drove to the prison had their licences checked.

"We will do it again at different times in the future," Mr Kent said.

He said further screenings would be random and unannounced.

Saturday's crackdown was the first of the series.

"It has been done in the past, but it has been at least 18 months since then," Mr Kent said.

"Because of the expansion of the prison and the increased number of prisoners being held out there, we are doing a lot of work with the office of corrections to help both us and them manage the growing demand for what they have to do and for police responses."

Works on a 350-bed expansion of Hopkins Correctional Centre are expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Corrections Victoria is running a major recruitment drive to support the development.

Ten new industry officers graduated from Corrections Victoria's training and assessment program late last month.

Corrections Victoria Grampians region prisons general manager Patrick McCormick said the new staff would play a vital role at Hopkins Correctional Centre.

"These officers will protect and uphold the security and integrity of the corrections system, while also working with offenders to make a real difference to their lives," he said.

The next recruitment period for prison officer roles at Grampians region prisons is July 11 to 28.

Mr McCormick encouraged people to visit to find out more and apply online early.

He said vacancies for industry officers and other non-custodial roles would also be advertised throughout the year.


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