Five8 (which means ‘my mate’ in rhyming prison slang) is a new initiative which builds small pro-social communities of support and accountability for prisoners assisting their transition into the community and reducing reoffending. Five8 advocates a whole-of-community response to the effective rehabilitation of offenders.
Five8 is an initiative which builds small pro-social communities of support and accountability for prisoners assisting their transition into the community and reducing reoffending. Five8 advocates a whole-of-community response to the effective rehabilitation of offenders.
When: 8.30am-5.00pm Saturday 4th February, 2012. Lunch is provided
Where: DAYSPRING CHURCH – 15 Salisbury Rd., Castle Hill 2154
(UBD2012: map 150 G13 )
Enquiries / RSVP 0418 298 410
Five8 is not a formal program with a beginning and end. The relationships formed may be short-term or lifelong. Most importantly, the relationships teach former prisoners interpersonal skills, pro-social modelling, and the value of new circles of friendship and support – where one can ask for help, as well as give it. Five8 is committed to the principles of Restorative Justice, which seriously considers the needs and concerns of the victims and community as well as those of the offender.
- Prisoners are currently recruited into Five8 via referrals from prison chaplains, staff and other prisoners. The main criterion for eligibility is a person’s determination to change.
- A Five8 Circle of 4-6 volunteers take turns to visit their prisoner friend, correspond and receive phone calls.
- Upon release, a Five8 Circle continues to support their friend by providing regular social contact, e.g. sharing meals and recreational activities and being neighbours.
- Five8 is not a welfare agency but draws on available community services to help secure accommodation, a job and social support to ease the stress of the prisoner’s re-entry into the community.
- A weekly Circle meeting occurs in a regular setting. Issues relating to the support and accountability of the former offender are addressed. In time the Circle will meet less frequently, eventually ceasing altogether.
- Potential volunteers are screened for suitability and provided with (ongoing) training.
- A core value of Five8 is to replicate the model extensively (including interstate) with other Christian and non-Christian community groups who support offenders.
- Five8 is an initiative of PASS Ltd – a Christian (non-denominational) public benevolent institution. Five8 is governed by a committee of management. Dr Kelly Richards (Australian Institute of Criminology, and foremost authority on COSA in Australia) is a consultant to Five8.