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Throughcare to expand by nyut545e2

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									Throughcare                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Throughcare




Transitional plans are an important element in   Offender intervention programs motivate prisoners to turn their lives around
preparing for release                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Job skills through prison industries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and vocational education and training



Throughcare to expand                                                                                                                                     During the last decade,
                                                                                                                                                          national and international
                                                                                                                                                                                                            program needs, family relationships,
                                                                                                                                                                                                            security classification and health needs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            “A range of special services are available
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            to offenders under the QCS Throughcare
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            model.
Two new projects are set to strengthen the throughcare model of                                                                                           research has confirmed                            It prepares an offender to leave prison and
                                                                                                                                                                                                            successfully reintegrate into the community     “Some, like the Advance2Work post-release
offender management in Queensland.                                                                                                                        the value of throughcare                          after release.                                  employment assistance program, and
Under one project, existing transitional programs will be significantly                                                                                   approaches to offender                                                                            Vocational Education and Training, have
                                                                                                                                                                                                            QCS Offender Intervention Services              been operating successfully for a number of
boosted with $6 million over four years as part of a joint Federal and                                                                                    management.                                       Executive Director Mark Rallings oversees       years.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            throughcare services in Queensland.
State government partnership to reduce homelessness.                                                                                                      Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            “Others, like the Offender Reintegration
                                                                                                                                                          consolidated this approach by introducing         Mr Rallings said all staff played an integral   Support Service and Transitions programs
The other project was announced as part of the State Budget in June                                                                                       the Integrated Offender Management                role in throughcare.                            have been introduced during recent years to
this year with $1.5 million in funding over the next three years for                                                                                      System as well as a dedicated Throughcare
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            meet the needs of the offender population.
                                                                                                                                                          Unit.                                             “We are all responsible, from when an
the Bridging the Gap initiative. This program gives offenders with                                                                                                                                          offender first enters custody, throughout       “We want to continue to expand the
impaired cognitive functioning access to specialist support and                                       Probation and Parole officers direct offenders to
                                                                                                                                                          Throughcare encompasses an offender’s             their sentence and later when they are being    Throughcare model to meet the needs of
                                                                                                                                                          education, vocational training, criminogenic      supervised in the community,” he said.
intervention services.                                                                                appropriate support services in the community                                                                                                         different offender groups,” Mark said.




Homelessness funding                             “The ORSS takes that planning one step
                                                 further by also supporting offenders in the
                                                                                                      QCS Offender Intervention Services
                                                                                                      Executive Director Mark Rallings said 750
                                                                                                                                                          Bridging the Gap                                  “Unit officers will be trained to deal with
                                                                                                                                                                                                            the challenging behaviours these prisoners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We hope to have most elements of the pilot
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            program in place within six months,” Alicia said.
Corrective Services Minister Neil                community after release.                             offenders participated in ORSS last year.                                                             present.
                                                                                                                                                          The Bridging the Gap program                                                                      The pilot is funded through the State
Roberts this month announced                     “Transitional programs and ORSS have                 “The funding means we’ll be able to                 will help prisoners with low                      “We also plan to appoint two new dedicated      Government’s Prevention and Early
that Queensland Corrective                       a range of benefits including a reduction            increase that number and introduce ORSS             intellectual functioning to                       case workers to work with these offenders       Intervention Incentive Pool.
                                                 in the risk of homelessness among ex-                to low-security centres such as Palen Creek                                                           in custodial centres.
Services would spend $6 million                  prisoners,” he said.                                 and Numinbah correctional centres,” he              transition back to the community.
over four years as part of a                                                                          said.
                                                                                                                                                          The program will be coordinated through QCS
                                                                                                                                                                                                            “We’ll aim to improve the offenders’ basic
                                                 “Offenders may receive assistance to                                                                                                                       living skills, such as personal hygiene,
strategy to reduce homelessness                  complete housing applications, find suitable         The service is delivered by contracted non-         Offender Intervention Services.                   money management and social skills.
among recently released                          post-release accommodation and receive               government organisations with experience            Program Coordinator Alicia Eugene said it was
                                                 advice and advocacy relating to tenancy                                                                                                                    “A non-government agency will also be
prisoners.                                                                                            in assisting people to access a range of            likely that about 10-12 per cent of the state’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                            appointed to deliver specially-tailored
                                                 issues,” he said.                                    relevant services in the community.                 prisoner population had impaired cognitive
Mr Roberts said the initiative was jointly                                                                                                                functioning.                                      transitional services including assistance
funded by the Australian Government              “Apart from housing, these programs also             Career Employment Australia delivers                                                                  to access housing and employment
                                                 help prisoners link to Centrelink services,                                                              “These offenders can be difficult to manage
and the Queensland Government through                                                                 ORSS in South-East, Central and Far North                                                             assistance.
                                                 develop positive family relationships, seek                                                              within the general prison population and
the National Partnership Agreement on                                                                 Queensland, with the North Queensland
                                                 employment and deal with any substance                                                                   often need intensive assistance from              “Research shows that newly released
Homelessness.                                                                                         Prisoners Aid Society delivering
                                                 abuse issues,” Mr Roberts said.                                                                          correctional staff to cope with day-to-day        prisoners who have housing and
                                                                                                      reintegration services in Townsville.
                                                                                                                                                          living,” she said.                                employment in place, are more likely
“The funding will be used to expand the
Agency’s existing Transitions programs and       “Prisoners are assessed, supported and               Catholic Prison Ministry assists high-needs                                                           to reintegrate successfully and avoid
                                                 referred to external services during three                                                               “These prisoners also struggle with the
services and the Offender Reintegration                                                               offenders with their reintegration in South-                                                          reoffending.
                                                 crucial periods – prior to release from                                                                  transition back to the community at the end
Support Service (ORSS),” he said.                                                                     East Queensland.
                                                 custody, immediately upon exit and while                                                                 of their custodial sentence.                      “A multi-agency advisory committee
“Last financial year 2200 prisoners              ex-prisoners establish themselves in the                                                                                                                   with experts in disability services will be
                                                                                                                                                          “The $1.5 million will fund a three-year pilot
accessed transitional programs and               community,” Mr Roberts said.                                                                                                                               formed to help with planning, delivery and
                                                                                                                                                          program in South-East Queensland with
services to plan for their release and                                                                                                                                                                      assessment of the pilot project.                Education is a first step to rehabilitation for some
                                                                                                                                                          officer training, new staff and transitional                                                      offenders
reintegration into the community.                                                                                                                         support on the agenda.



Page 6 / CN October 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         CN October 2009 / Page 7

								
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