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No decision yet on where to imprison George Pell

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The jail where convicted child sex offender George Pell will serve out his six-year sentence is yet to be decided.

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After yesterday’s sentence, Pell was returned to the maximum security Melbourne Assessment Prison in West Melbourne while Corrections Victoria decides on the most appropriate place for the cardinal to be imprisoned.

Corrections does not comment on individual prisoners, however prisoner placement is determined based on a number of factors, including age and health needs.

“Corrections authorities conduct rigorous security and risk assessments on anyone coming into the prison system to ensure their placement is safe and secure,” a spokesman said.

“Prisoner placements are regularly monitored and reviewed, and may be modified where an assessment finds that their risk and individual requirements have changed.”

County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd yesterday jailed the disgraced cardinal for a maximum six years, following his conviction in December for sexually abusing two choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne in 1996.

Pell will be 80 when his minimum non-parole period expires in three years and eight months.

His chance at freedom is pinned to his appeal bid, to be heard by Victoria’s Court of Appeal in June.

Pell sat emotionless and looking visibly thinner during his sentence hearing, in which the judge noted a real possibility he may not live to be released.

The judge said Pell acted brazenly and with “callous indifference” to his victims, with his status as Archbishop of Melbourne casting a powerful shadow over his crimes.

“Your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance,” he said.

Pell, who until late February was Vatican treasurer, is the most senior member of the Catholic Church jailed for child sexual abuse.

A Corrections Victoria assistant commissioner provided a statement on Pell’s first days in custody, assessing him to be at “immediate risk of serious threat”.

That risk may be reduced by time in protection and in future, he may be able to mix with a limited number of heavily-vetted prisoners, the commissioner said.

-AAP

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