Offender Management in the Community
Corrective Services' priorities in managing offenders in the community are to:
- Effectively supervise offenders in the community while working towards successful order completion.
- Promote successful re-settlement through partnerships with other agencies and community groups.
The mission of Community Offender Services is to reduce the impacts of crime on the community by effectively managing offenders and by being a decisive influence on sentencing.
Community Offender Services provides:
- Pre and Post- sentence assessments and advice to Courts and releasing authorities
- A range of community-based interventions which take account of
- Community protection
- Compliance by offenders with Court orders
- Restitution to the community
- The personal and developmental needs of offenders in addressing their offending behaviour
The major programs delivered by Community Offender Services are:
- Court Advice and Pre-release reports
- Probation supervision
- Parole supervision
- Intensive Supervision
- Community Service Orders
- Biyani Cottage
- Community Funding Programs
- Victims Services
- Intensive Correction Order
Judges and magistrates frequently require verified information about an offender to assist in determining an appropriate sentence. Legislation requires that sentencers consider assessments by Probation and Parole Officers before they can impose certain sentences. These reports contain verified information regarding the offender's background, education and employment, an assessment of the issues contributing to the offending behaviour and pertinent information relevant to sentencing. Reports include an appraisal of the offender's suitability for a range of community-based sentencing options.
The State Parole Authority and Commonwealth Attorney-General are similarly required to consider assessments by Probation and Parole Officers in consideration of an offender's release to parole. In addition to the above information, pre-release reports canvass the offender's proposed release plans, including suitability of accommodation and employment as well as availability of support services and a monitoring and intervention regime designed to facilitate reintegration into society and reduce the likelihood of further offending.
An offender may be placed on probation as a condition of a Good Behaviour Bond. Probation is a flexible sentence which imposes a penalty within a framework of constructive case management. The offender is assisted in the development of pro-social goals and skills directed towards a law-abiding lifestyle. Probation incorporates a range of intervention strategies, requiring the Probation and Parole Officer to have regular contact with the offender, both at an office and in the offender's home, as well as contact with significant people in the offender's life and other checks to monitor compliance with conditions of the bond. Case work intervention may also involve participation in a group work program targeting the offending behaviour. Probation and Parole Officers also engage the support of community agencies to assist the offender.
Offenders released to parole supervision are subject to conditions imposed by the State Parole Authority or other releasing bodies. Conditions may include counselling for drug or alcohol abuse, a requirement to attend for psychiatric treatment or groupwork programs or residential restrictions. Failure to abide by the conditions is reported to the releasing authority and may result in revocation of the parole order and return to gaol.
Probation and Parole Officers are responsible for monitoring compliance with conditions of parole and, as with those subject to probation supervision, a case management plan is implemented which aims to address the offending behaviour and reduce the potential for reoffending.
Offenders may be subject to Intensive Supervision on a Home Detention or Drug Court Order. Home Detention is a means of diverting offenders from full-time custody, while providing a high level of community protection. This penalty is only available for offenders who are sentenced to imprisonment for a maximum of 18 months and who are deemed suitable for the program following a rigorous assessment process. Probation and Parole Officers develop and implement a case management plan which permits staged access to out-of -home activities such as employment and training. Offenders are monitored 24 hours per day, with the assistance of electronic devices.
Offenders subject to orders of the Drug Court are required to cooperate with a treatment plan devised by health professionals in conjunction with the supervision of Probation and Parole Officers. They are subject to stringent conditions and regular reports of their progress are tendered to the Drug Court. The Drug Court may vary the conditions and/or impose sanctions for failure to comply throughout the duration of the order
Offenders clean up the Cooks River, Sydney
Probation and Parole Officers provide assessments to sentencers as to suitability for Community Service Orders (CSO). Offenders deemed suitable for the program may be sentenced to perform unpaid work in the community, providing services to local communities. The CSO program is administered by Probation and Parole Officers who allocate offenders to work with voluntary community organisations, including services to the young, sick, disabled and elderly, as well as in environmental projects. Offenders are carefully screened for appropriate placement and are supervised for the duration of their hours, both in terms of work and behaviour. Community Offender Services supervises approximately 4,600 offenders with Community Service Orders, who perform around $12 million worth of unpaid community work for 1,600 non-profit organisations.
Biyani Cottage at Malabar opened in March 1994, providing an alternative to custody for female offenders with mental health disorders or mild intellectual disabilities who also have problems with abuse of alcohol or other drugs. The main focus of the Biyani program is to stabilise mental health and alcohol or drug issues and to help the women to access long-term community rehabilitation programs and resources.
Participants are generally women who have been remanded in custody pending sentence or who have been returned to custody following breach of their parole orders. Community Offender Services submits suitable candidates to the Court or State Parole Authority and is then responsible for supervising, managing and supporting the women whilst at Biyani and upon entry to a rehabilitation program.
Funding non-government organisations is a key part of Corrective Services' Throughcare strategy. The Community Funding Program provides access to funding for community-based non-profit organisations to a range of support services to offenders, ex-offenders and their families.
The Community Funding application packages relate to the most recent funding programs and are provided as a guide only. These programs have both closed and new application packages will be made available prior to the next funding periods.
Each year a percentage of income generated by Corrective Services Industries is allocated to the two funding programs:
- Victims of Violent Crime Grants Program
- Victims Awareness Project
Miruma Diversionary Facility
MIRUMA - Opened on 04/04/2011 on the grounds of Cessnock Correctional Centre. Miruma is a residential community based diversionary program for female offenders with co-existing disorders. The aim of Miruma is to provide high level of effective case management to address offending behaviour and provide the female residents with the skills to be able to live independently and productively in the community.
Phone: 02 4933 2212
Fax: 02 4993 2249
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