CSNSW among world’s best in inmate programs

Publication date: Monday, 23 April 2018

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Corrective Services NSW is undertaking the biggest expansion of therapeutic program delivery in the state’s history, reinforcing its place among the best correctional systems in the world in its efforts to reduce domestic violence and other reoffending.

The NSW Government’s record $330 million investment in reducing reoffending has already resulted in 10 High Intensity Program Units and a new inmate case management model being rolled out across the state in just 12 months.

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the funding was being used to increase the availability of therapeutic programs to ensure more inmates received treatment and longer doses of it.

“This investment aims to ensure that the right offenders receive the right interventions at the right dosage, in order to achieve maximum reductions in reoffending among the highest risk offenders in the state,” Mr Severin said.

“This is also being accompanied by an improved case management system to identify the needs for programs, and a major prison expansion program to enable the optimal placement of inmates for program delivery.”

Mr Severin said CSNSW looked at worlds’ best practice when determining which programs to invest in and it was important these were complemented by other services and education.

“EQUIPS and other therapeutic programs are similar to those that have been proven to work internationally,” Mr Severin said.

“We also conduct a vast amount of other work in prisons to reduce reoffending, including one-on-one counselling, education, vocational training, and work experience.”

CSNSW also welcomes evaluations of its programs to ensure they are meeting outcomes. A recent BOCSAR study looked at the effects on reoffending for people who commenced EQUIPS DV but failed to distinguished between those that completed the program versus those that left after a small number of sessions.

The evaluation also failed to look at treatment dosage when it’s well known that high-risk offenders need a larger number of treatment sessions in order to reduce their chances of reoffending.

The evaluation also looked at offenders who commenced the program in 2015, but since then the NSW Government has committed $330 million to reduce reoffending, including increasing the availability of programs, such as EQUIPS.