Next year, the conference theme ‘Changing Seasons, Changing Lives’ will focus on regeneration, the process of renewal, restoration, and growth. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Western Australia recognise that the distinct seasons have distinct purposes.
How can we draw on these lessons in our work with people leaving prison?
Last week, we got together at the Reintegration Puzzle Conference for a free workshop to talk about our recent world café style conversations around Australia. These were events in Perth, Brisbane Geelong, Sydney and Melbourne earlier in the year where we worked together to develop solutions to reduce the imprisonment rate and the rate at which people return to prison in Australia.
At the workshop, we had a group discussion of the major themes associated with each of the two questions that have been posed at the events. These questions focused on changes that are needed both inside and outside prison to enable people to have better outcomes when they return to community.
While we are still in the process of reviewing all of our notes from all of our events, we presented our draft themes for the workshop. In the presentation, we noted that in formulating these preliminary themes, there was some variation in the emphasis placed on various themes across event locations and a large number of sub-themes associated with each of the major themes.
Here are the draft themes:
How could prison function better toward release?
Reform Prison Culture and Service Provision
Facilitate Service Linkage and Throughcare
Employ a Trauma-based Approach to Therapeutic Care
Engage in Stigma Reduction
What conditions are needed in the community for support?
Facilitate Knowledge and Skills
De-stigmatisation and Inclusion
Throughcare Training and Services
Advocacy and Leadership
Acknowledge Complex Disadvantage
Next up is completing the review, publishing our findings and advocating for those changes through our newly formed After Prison Network.
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