“The ultimate aim however is to protect the community and encourage offenders to adopt law abiding lifestyles.”
A senior prison officer, Mr Ian Burchett, who worked at the prison for more than 14 years, said the closure meant the loss of a great part of his life.
“Like any place you work in it becomes a significant part of your life and you are sad to see it go,” he said.
But Mr Burchett, who has come to know almost all of Victoria’s recent notorious criminals, said there was no doubt the facilities needed to be upgraded.
Father John Brosnan, the prison chaplain who administered Ronald Ryan’s last rites in February 1967, said he felt no sadness at the closure.
“For years and years I used to say that If we had unlimited resources the first thing I would do is bring in Whelan the Wrecker,” he said.
“So I couldn’t regret the passing of an era like this. It provided grossly substandard treatment for prisoners. I think we have to treat people decently.”
No decision has been made on the sites future.