Enhancing Reintegration
Integrated Transitional Support Model and
Offender Reintegration Support Service
Project
&
Bridging the Gap Project
Reintegration Puzzle Conference 2010
1
Overview
• Integrated Transitional Support Model
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Existing model
Business case and funding
Key products
Key learnings from process to date
• Bridging the Gap
– Background research and business case
– Key products
– Key learnings from process to date
Existing Transitional Support
Model in Queensland
• Transitions Coordinator at each Correctional
Centre
• Transitions Release Preparation program
targeted at offenders assessed as higher risk of
re-offending / higher level of reintegration need
• Transitional Support Service for lower risk and
shorter-term offenders
• Offender Reintegration Support Service
delivered by contracted NGOs
• Advance2Work specialist post release
employment assistance program
Integrated Transitional Support
Model
Transitions
Release
Preparation
Program
Sentenced
prisoners
OR
Offender
Reintegration
Support
Service
Transitional
Support
Service
6 months earliest release date
Eligible for Support
Release
Background - “The Road Home”
• In December 2008, the Australian Govt
released the White Paper on
Homelessness – “The Road Home”.
• Two headline goals:
– Halve overall homelessness by 2020; and
– Offer supported accommodation to all rough
sleepers by 2020.
5
Background – Intergovernmental
Agreement
National Affordable Housing Agreement $6.2b/5yrs
Former SAAP services, crisis accommodation and the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement
National Partnership on Homelessness $800m/4 yrs
+
A Place to
Call Home $300m/5yrs
National Partnership on Social Housing $400m/2yrs
National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing $1.9b/10yrs
Nation Building and Jobs Plan
Social Housing: $6b for New Construction/3.5years
$400m for Repair and Maintenance/2yrs
Background - National Partnership
Agreement on Homelessness
• COAG established the National Partnership
Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH).
• Multiple key areas for reform – People exiting
the custody of the State
• State government submissions for funding for
projects that contribute to addressing
homelessness.
• QCS business case for funding to enhance the
Agency’s existing Integrated Transitional
Support Model (ITSM) and Offender
Reintegration Support Service (ORSS).
Background – QCS Business Case
• Research
• Emphasised the success of the existing model but
highlighted the need for additional funding to address
gaps in service delivery.
• Dedicated staffing for service delivery (Transitions
Coordinators) and expansion of ORSS to include all
low security facilities.
• Overall, aim to reduce the risk of homelessness
amongst ex-prisoners by providing assessment,
support and referral to external services across the
period when prisoners are preparing for release and
transitioning back into the community.
Project Funding
• $6 m over next four financial years, $1.5 m per year
2009-10
$M
1.35
2010-11
$M
1.3
2011-12
$M
1.3
2012-13
$M
1.3
Offender Reintegration Support Service
0.15
0.2
0.2
0.2
TOTAL
1.5
1.5
1.5
1.5
Funding Breakdown
Integrated Transitional Support Model
Project Objective
To enhance service delivery under the Integrated
Transitional Support Model and expand the
ORSS to provide eligible prisoners exiting
custody with the opportunity to access
coordinated and structured transitional support,
both pre release and post release in the
community.
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Key Products
 Transitions Coordinators appointed and trained
 Integrated Transitional Support Model Review,
including the Transitions Release Preparation
Program
 Offender
Reintegration
expansion and re-tender
Support
Service
 Database
 Housing Partnerships
 Enhanced Service Delivery
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Targets
2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Transitional
support
2700
3300
3300
3300
Offender
Reintegration
Support Service
880
1250
1250
1250
Key Learnings

Effective relationships built with Policy area within QCS who were able
to advocate for the approach we were taking when seeking the funding

Need to ensure sufficient dedicated staffing – including Project
Manager and importance of attracting the “right” staff

Balancing strategic and operational focus (i.e. balancing planning with
“doing”)

Need for effective change management and communication strategies
with key stakeholders

Need for realistic understanding of time-frames

Establishing a project board for governance and oversight, with key
internal senior stakeholders included to increase “buy-in” and
successful implementation / raise the profile of the project

Barriers in correctional staff attitudes to prisoners/reintegration

A number of community agencies / other government depts interested
in partnering with us to deliver the project / achieve positive
reintegration outcomes.
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BRIDGING THE GAP
Throughcare Support for Offenders With
Impaired Cognitive Functioning
PILOT PROJECT
What is Cognitive Impairment?
• Cognitive impairment is a broad term used to
describe a wide variety of impaired brain
function relating to the ability of a person to:
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think
concentrate
react to emotions
formulate ideas
problem solve
reason and
remember.
• There can be a wide range of severity in
impairment from mild through to severe.
Cognitive impairment can be associated with
many disabilities and disorders that can be
present at birth or acquired later in life.
•
(Source:
http://www.jobaccess.gov.au/JOAC/Advice/Disability/Cognitive_Impairment.htm )
Background
• Research has identified that people with
an ID are over-represented in the
criminal justice system vs prevalence in
the general community.
• E.g. community estimates range from 0.3
– 3% and prison estimates range from
1.5% - 29%.
Challenges in a Prison
Environment
• Research indicates that this population
of offenders can be particularly
disadvantaged and vulnerable in a
prison environment.
• E.g Victorian study found:
– Less likely to progress to low security
– Higher numbers of prison incidents recorded
against them
– More likely to be denied parole (typically due to
unsuitable post-release accommodation)
Re-Settlement Challenges
• The offending behaviour of many people
with cognitive impairments is a function
of a complex array of unmet health,
housing, economic and social needs.
• Risk of “slipping through the cracks”
upon release and not having access to
coordinated and comprehensive systems
of support.
Bridging the Gap Submission
• State Government’s Prevention and Early
Intervention scheme (PEI).
• This scheme was set up to provide funding for
pilot projects in the human services field to
provide prevention and early intervention
services for various “vulnerable” groups within
the community.
• QCS made a submission for funding based on
the lack of any existing specialist interventions
for this group within the prison population.
Business Case Successful
•
Total funding of $1.46 million over the next three financial
years, commencing in 2009 – 2010 FY for a pilot for
sentenced male and female offenders in South East
Queensland.
•
Key deliverables:
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Recruitment of a Senior Adviser based in head office
Recruitment of two specialist Disability Support Workers to work
directly with offenders in custody
Implementation of a screening tool to identify offenders with ICF at
reception
Procurement process to engage a specialist NGO to provide intensive
reintegration support and case management during transition from
custody to community (Interact Australia)
Development and implementation of specialist activities and services to
enhance adaptive behavioural functioning with a focus on successful
reintegration
Delivery of targeted staff training on managing this offender population
and managing challenging behaviours appropriately
Woodford Correctional Centre to pilot a specialist accommodation unit
for this target population.
Formal evaluation of the pilot
Key Learnings

Need to ensure sufficient dedicated staffing – including Project
Manager and importance of attracting the “right” staff

Distinguishing between ICF and mental health issues –
although may be co-occuring.

Included specific allocation in funding submission for a formal
evaluation of the pilot

Being flexible with the pilot – using it as an opportunity to trial
different approaches.

Need to “find” and engage key partner agencies to ensure a
“joined up” approach and avoid duplication of services

Bringing in expert agencies to deliver specialist training to
custodial staff at Woodford unit

Making training part of the core induction training available to
all custodial officers.
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