This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Clinical programs

Information about the clinical or treatment programs that aim to address issues underlying prisoner offending.

The clinical (or treatment) programs are designed to address the issues that underlie the prisoner’s offending so that they can make the adjustment to a better life when they leave the prison.

Types of programs

Clinical programs can include:

  • cognitive skills enhancement
  • lifestyle and behavioural change
  • violence prevention
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • opioid substitution therapy.

Some prisons also offer offence-specific programs for drug-related crime and sex offending, such as Marngoneet.

See DCI 3.09 Programs designed to reduce offending behaviour—Substance deterrence and treatment in Deputy Commissioner's Instructions


Is the client eligible for assessment to enter a program?

All sentenced prisoners are eligible to be assessed to enter a program unless they are ‘ineligible’. Prisoners will usually be deemed to be ineligible if they are not able to engage in discussions about their offending behaviour.

Assessments are carried out using the Level of Service Inventory/Screening version: Revised assessment (LSI&R). Prisoners who are assessed as being a moderate to high risk of reoffending will be assessed again using the Level of Service/Risk Need Responsivity assessment (LS/RNR).



  • prisoners can ask to be transferred so they can access offence-specific programs
  • remand prisoners and maximum security prisoners may not be able to do offence-specific programs
  • access to programs varies between prisons; however, in general more people are recommended for programs than there are spaces available.

See 'AC4—Determining a prisoner’s placement' in Part 2—Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Sentence Management Manual(opens in a new window).

More information


Corrections Victoria

Sentence Management Manual

  • 'AC1—Sentence Management Manual'
  • 'AC4—Determining a prisoner's placement'

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Sentence Management Manual(opens in a new window).

Deputy Commissioner's Instructions

The Deputy Commissioner's Instructions (DCIs) set out detailed guidelines for the management and operation of public prisons and prisoners in Victoria. Private prisons must follow a similar set of Operating Procedures, which, like the Deputy Commissioner's Instructions, put into practice the Standards and Commissioner's Requirements to ensure a consistent system across the entire Victorian Prison network.

See particularly:

  • DCI 3.09 Programs designed to reduce offending behaviour—Substance deterrence and treatment
  • DCI 3.10 Programs designed to reduce offending behaviour—Detection and testing – drug and alcohol use
  • DCI 3.12 Programs designed to reduce offending behaviour—Violence interventions
  • DCI 3.08 Programs designed to reduce offending behaviour—General (which explains the specific treatment programs designed to address issues related to offending behaviour)
  • DCI 3.01 Education and training.

See Classification of prisoners—Deputy Commissioner's Instructions.