Michelle Lensink

Offenders Program

A question put forward to the Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO regarding the offenders program.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: What are the criteria for admittance into the:

1. Sex offenders program;

2. Violent offenders program; and

3. Aboriginal offenders program?

The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO: I advise:

Firstly, it should be understood that participants in programs must consent to assessment, and to participation. Therefore all groups contain willing, consenting participants.

The following multiple factors are considered for entry into the sex offenders program.

1. Results of actuarial and dynamic risk assessments conducted by departmental professional staff where the participant’s risk level is matched to the intensity level of the program being delivered; and

2. Other issues considered as part of the selection process including,

Date of release (from prison or parole expiration). Priority is given to those offenders who are nearest their release date, which is consistent with practices in other jurisdictions and ensures that all sex offenders assessed as suitable for sex offender treatment will receive the necessary intervention at the most effective time;

Management of mental health or other health issues;

Alcohol and drug use;

Cultural issues and available support; for example, location of family and RCIADIC recommendations relating to housing of Aboriginal offenders;

Enemy’ issues that may effect prisoner movement;

Prison security rating;

Protectee status;

Ability of an offender to engage in a group process; for example,

literacy levels;

For community programs – the ability to attend programs in the metropolitan region;

Consent to participate and attend the program.

To be eligible for assessment for suitability for the Violence Prevention Program the following criteria are used, but as guidelines only,

Convicted of a current violent offence, usually combined with a past history of convictions for violent related offending. This includes but not limited to assaults, robbery and aggravated criminal trespass. However, one major, sufficiently violent offence may meet criteria for consideration, for example, murder;

Assessed as medium risk status or above regarding potential for future violent offending behaviour on a recognised risk assessment measure, such as the Level of Service Inventory – Revised’. The Rehabilitation Programs Branch will conduct such an assessment on potential participants if there is no current risk assessment available;

Management of mental health or other health issues, including no current symptoms of acute mental illness, for example

psychosis, which would preclude suitable program participation;

Alcohol and drug use;

Ability of an offender to engage in a group process; for example,

have sufficient written and verbal English language skills to participate in the program; and

Consent to participate and attend the program.

Eligibility for the Aboriginal offenders program is determined via the Prisoner Assessment Unit during the formation of the Individual Development Plan that is structured for every offender.

The Senior Aboriginal Programs Officers in the Rehabilitation Programs Branch provide a range of programs specifically for Aboriginal prisoners and offenders. These include anger management, victim awareness, and the Ending Offending’ program specifically designed for Aboriginal offenders.

These programs are offered at Mobilong Prison, Port Augusta Prison and specific interventions for Aboriginal women who are accommodated at the Adelaide Women’s Prison, on an ongoing basis.

Self-referral also occurs by those who have identified issues that need addressing.

Criteria for admittance into the Aboriginal offenders program are broad in comparison to other RPB programs, due to Aboriginal offenders being encouraged to participate in a range of programs in order to provide an opportunity for personal development aimed at reducing future offending.

In addition to current programs, a community-based program for Aboriginal offenders is currently being developed for provision at Elizabeth Community Correctional Centre.

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