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​New prison program ties in with white ribbon​

Issued: Friday, 25 November 2016

A ground-breaking program to reduce domestic violence from reoccurring is being rolled out at four correctional centres across the state.

Corrective Services NSW has partnered with Legal Aid NSW to establish a brief intervention that assists inmates on remand to understand the content of apprehended violence orders and remind them about the importance of abiding by these and other legal orders.

CSNSW Offender Services and Programs Group Director Jayson Ware said the program also helps offenders recognise their abusive behaviour and develop skills and knowledge to live free of domestic violence, which current programs address in a longer timeframe.

“We need to help inmates as soon as they enter prison and intervene as quickly as possible, given that the average time on remand for inmates charged with domestic violence offences is just under seven days,” Mr Ware said.

“Up to 38 per cent of inmates on remand for domestic violence offences, who are released on bail, re-offend before their court matter has been finalised.

“We need to change their thinking and behaviour in the very early days.”

The program has commenced at the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre at Silverwater, Bathurst Correctional Centre and Cessnock Correctional Centre with the program also to be delivered at Grafton Correctional Centre.

Mr Ware said initial feedback had been very positive.
“Staff have told me that the majority of offenders have been eager to participate as it has helped them understand their responsibilities,” Mr Ware said.

“This is one of the first times that we are attempting to reduce reoffending for inmates on remand. “This also represents CSNSW’s commitment to focusing on reducing domestic violence and keeping women and children safe.”

One of the other domestic violence related initiatives being undertaken at CSNSW:

  • Trainee correctional officers and staff at the CSNSW Academy – Hunter Region have raised around $2,200 for Jenny’s Place in Newcastle, a refuge for women and children, by organising barbecues and other fundraising activities.