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Breaking the cycle of re-offending and reintegrating into society
Support for those released from prison is essential in breaking the cycle of re-offending and ensuring they reintegrate back into the community.
Outcare, based in Western Australia, provides rehabilitation services to ex-prisoners. Its holistic services include finding steady accommodation and employment, referrals to health and addiction support agencies, training and personal skill development, community engagement activities, emergency relief and financial assistance, and general advocacy.
Rosalie Kickett, a Noongar Yorga woman, has worked as a Case Manager for the Aboriginal Throughcare Program at Outcare since October 2014, a program culturally specific for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“We work in culturally appropriate ways. It’s our way of making a difference and supporting our Aboriginal people, from youth to adults. We work to empower our mob,” Rosalie said.
“And we work different ways. We work with not only the individual, we work with family. We let the clients know that we are there for not only them but their family.”
Tosha Henry has accessed support through the Throughcare program. The support has allowed her to access stable accommodation for herself and her family of five, as well as employment.
“My case worker is Putty. She’s helped me rebuild my life and my relationship out here in society. She’s helped me gain confidence and self-esteem,” Tosha said.
“It’s benefitted me a lot, more than I expected. It’s also benefited me in a way I didn’t expect - you know, with housing, my children, my babies, and them in schooling.”
Tosha explains why it’s so important for people coming out of prison to be able to access support.
“You need that support because if you don’t, you end up going back on that same path that you did previous to going to prison. I believe it benefits a lot of people that want it,” she said.
Another community member who has accessed support through the same program is Gary, Tosha’s brother.
He maintains that the support Outcare has provided has allowed him to rebuild his life after getting out of prison.
“I still ring Don (Outcare Case Worker) and have a yarn and see what’s out there. And I’m still trying to better my skills even in the employment programs. They’ve got a lot of connections,” Gary said.
“During that time I experienced a lot of things; seen things I never thought I’d see. And eventually one of my dreams came true. Getting a job in the mines.”
Rosalie said that it’s government support through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy that has enabled Outcare to continue providing the Aboriginal Throughcare Program.
“If you don’t have that support from government, how can you provide that quality service for the community, and for the clients themselves,” she said.
“I think that’s good that they recognise the importance of having a service like Aboriginal Throughcare. We not only protect our clients; it’s about the community as well. It’s safer for everyone.”