Description

In NSW, there are a small number of not-for-profit, community-based organisations providing post-release transitional support to people leaving prison. These organisations offer a range of different service models and supports including residential rehabilitation, therapeutic communities, mentoring support, intensive case management, counselling and holistic alcohol and other drug (AOD) interventions. The organisations delivering these services are only able to support a small fraction of the many thousands of people who leave prison each year.

This report arises out of a roundtable held at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2018 with some of the key community sector organisations providing post-release support to people leaving prison in NSW. The roundtable was facilitated by members of the Rethinking Community Sanctions Project, which is an Australian Research Council Discovery Project at UNSW, led by Professor Julie Stubbs, Professor Eileen Baldry, Emeritus Professor David Brown, Melanie Schwartz (UNSW) and Professor Chris Cunneen (University of Technology Sydney). This report details the common barriers community sector organisations face in delivering effective transitional support to people leaving prison in NSW. The report focuses on four broad areas emerging from the roundtable: concerns relating to service referrals and exiting custody practices; the health needs of people leaving prison, particularly with regard to mental health disorders, cognitive impairment and substance addiction; housing instability and homelessness; and the need for long-term funding stability and strong evaluation frameworks. Some of these barriers are enduring and have long been identified as concerns for organisations working in this space (see Borzycki and Baldry, 2003), whereas others have emerged more recently in response to the changing post-release landscape in NSW.

The report details the common barriers community sector organisations face in delivering effective transitional support to people leaving prison in NSW. It focuses on four broad areas:

  • concerns relating to service referrals and exiting custody practices
  • the health needs of people leaving prison, particularly with regard to mental health disorders, cognitive impairment and substance addiction
  • housing instability and homelessness
  • the need for long-term funding stability and strong evaluation frameworks
Publication Details
Publication Year:
2020