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Corrections Victoria review current processes for identifying female offenders at risk


Who is leading the change

  • Department of Justice and Community Safety

Corrections Victoria review the current processes for identifying female offenders at risk of or with a history of family violence and respond through therapeutic interventions and education programs.

  • Our work on this recommendation involved:

    • reviewing assessment tools at prison reception and pre-release to enable improved identification of female offenders at risk of family violence
    • piloting the Beyond the Violence program to female offenders in the community who are victim survivors of family violence
    • understanding the specific family violence support needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities
    • integrating family violence identification procedures into the prison reception process at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre (DPFC) and Tarrengower Prison
  • Work completed by December 2017

    Delivery of Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (also known as the common risk assessment framework or CRAF) training for 40 staff at the DPFC and Tarrengower Prison was completed in October 2016. Staff have been provided access to online CRAF training pending the introduction of the redeveloped Multi Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework, which will replace the CRAF.

    A number of employees from pre and post release contracted service providers have received CRAF training. Service providers have incorporated risk assessment and safety planning considerations into their program service delivery.

    A pilot of the Beyond the Violence program was undertaken in Community Correctional Services and resulted in positive outcomes for the female offenders who participated. Further pilots of Beyond the Violence will run over 2017-18, with a program having commenced at Tarrengower Prison in August 2017.

    Funding was provided in the 2016-17 State Budget to undertake scoping and market assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community service providers for initiatives involving victim survivors and perpetrators from diverse backgrounds. A strong demand for CALD victim programs in the community beyond existing service delivery was not identified.

    Corrections Victoria undertook analysis to identify the needs of CALD victims to determine whether there are outstanding service needs to be met by Corrections Victoria. Upon completion of this analysis, no clear unmet service need for victims of family violence from CALD backgrounds was identified for offenders in the community.

    Ongoing work

    A Family Violence Identification Form has been integrated into case management operating procedures at the DPFC and Tarrengower as of February 2018. For unsentenced prisoners who do not receive a Level of Service/Risk, Need, Responsivity assessment, the Family Violence Identification Form will provide a cover-all safety net that ensures all prisoners receive an opportunity to disclose experiences of family violence. Discussions resulting from this identification process may lead to a referral to relevant family violence programs and/or services, or to a legal service.

    Melbourne City Mission will trial an adapted Out of the Dark program targeting Vietnamese women at the DPFC. As well as providing a targeted response to this CALD cohort, this aligns with the Recommendation 184 intent for increased availability of group-based programs. A proposal for this program has been submitted to Corrections Victoria for delivery of this service.

  • Implemented.

Reviewed 17 May 2020

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