Towards effective throughcare approaches for Indigenous people leaving prison in Australia and New Zealand

RB/CIP Number: 25
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Dr Andrew Day, Dr Lynore Geia, and Dr Armon Tamatea

In 2018, the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Inquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples concluded that a cycle of reoffending can result for those prisoners who are released from prison without support to transition into the community. It noted that incarceration leads to significant disruption in a person’s life that can include the loss of employment, housing, relationships and social support (see also Abbott et al. 2017) and identified the need for throughcare programs to be made more readily available (ALRC 2018). Although a large number of organisations, both government and non-government, now provide these programs, submissions to the Commission only identified a small number of programs that had been developed specifically for Indigenous prisoners – and these were diverse in terms of both the scope and the types of service that were offered. The purpose of this Brief is to consider the current status of throughcare programs in both Australia and New Zealand and to identify some key issues going forward.