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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    $1 million backing for new female prisoner re-integration program

    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016

    $1 million backing for new female prisoner re-integration program

    Minister for Corrective Services Bill Byrne has today announced an additional $1 million annually for a new program designed to give female prisoners a better chance of successfully re-integrating back into the community and reducing the incidence of re-offending and going back to jail.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is committed to the safety of all Queenslanders and it is vital that people re-entering our communities from correctional centres have the tools and systems in place to do so successfully,” he said.

    “Successful re-integration of prisoners back into society means not only a safer community, but a reduction in prisoner numbers, which rose by almost 30% as a result of the poor handling of the justice system in Queensland by the former government.

    “In-reach and out-reach workers will provide flexible, responsive and individualised support in the areas on which the prisoners identify they need to focus.

    “The new program will include specialist workers from expert organisations in the areas of domestic violence, housing, drugs and alcohol, and mental health who will provide services to female offenders when they are back out in the community.

    “This program is female-centred, relationship-based, individually customised and will be monitored closely. We expect to see positive results.”

    Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) Commissioner Mark Rallings said QCS had always had a strong emphasis on providing the best rehabilitative support possible, but this new re-entry program takes it to a whole new level.

    “This is a purpose-built, gender-specific program that we are confident will achieve results,” he said.

    “There has been significant research that identifies female offenders as requiring tailored programs and services that address gender-specific needs in a range of areas such as health, children and family, and housing.

    “That research also identifies a higher level of trauma and victimisation in their past which has links to both mental health and substance abuse needs.”

    Minister Byrne said there had been a substantial amount of input into the new program from all parties involved.

    “Government agencies designed the program jointly with the users of services – female prisoners and offenders – and community organisations working with female offenders,” he said.

    “The new service design will assist female prisoners to be successful on parole and will prioritise reconnection with children, stable accommodation, support for victims of domestic violence, mental health support and gender-focused substance abuse intervention.

    “Trauma-informed practices and coaching in navigating complex social service systems will be key features.

    “The agreements with the service providers are in the final stages of being formalised and they are all very reputable, professional organisations.”

    Implementation of the new program is underway and expected to be fully operational by the end of next month.

    The service will encompass Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre, Numinbah Correctional Centre, Helana Jones Centre, and probation and parole offices in South East Queensland. Townsville Women’s Correctional Centre has its own specific North Queensland-based provider in place.

    ENDS

     

    Media contact

    Minister Byrne’s Office:                 0400 622 433