INTERVENTIONS FOR PRISONERS RETURNING TO THE COMMUNITY

From the Australian Government Attourneys General Department

Community safety is improved if offenders do not go on to commit new crimes after they have served a term of imprisonment. If those same prisoners then also go on to productively contribute to their communities, those communities benefit doubly, through decreased rates of crime and through increased social and economic capacity. Current correctional thinking emphasises the benefits of enhancing an offender’s chances of rehabilitation and community reintegration.

The Australian Government Attorney-General’s Community Safety and Justice Branch therefore tasked the Australian Institute of Criminology to assess the current state of interventions for prisoners returning to the community. The project researched international trends in the delivery of interventions for offenders, as well as providing an overview of services available to Australian prisoners.

This two-part volume details the outcomes of that research project. The report in Part A – Interventions for Prisoners Returning to the Community: A Literature Review – summarises recent theory and research related to the delivery of programs and supports to prisoners. It also broadly characterises Australian prisoners, to establish if they face the same post-release challenges that research has identified as confronting prisoners in overseas jurisdictions.

The report in Part B – Interventions for Prisoners Returning to the Community: A Survey of Australian Services – gives a broad-brush description of post-release and other services designed to assist Australian prisoners in community reintegration. The survey informing this report was conducted between March and September 2003, and involved State-based juvenile and adult correctional authorities, as well as non-government organisations.

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