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2012 Australian Crime & Violence Prevention Awards

 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards

Seven projects received national awards

Banksia Gardens Community Connections (Victoria)

Award: $20,000 and National Certificate of Merit

Community Connections is a place-based community project in the Banksia Gardens estate. The project aims to build community strength and pride by addressing long existing issues of violence and crime, low educational attainment, unemployment and poor access to health services. By working in partnership with local residents, community organisations and the three tiers of government, we have achieved significant reductions in crime on the estate.

Community Connections is underpinned by four key principles:

  • Strength based—every community has innate assets. It is vital to meet a community on its own terms and build on this intrinsic capacity.
  • Economic participation—true community development is about facilitating opportunities for people to empower their own lives. Being engaged in one’s local economy is fundamental to this goal.
  • Physical presence—in order to create positive change, place managers must sit within the community they serve. This enables a more collaborative approach to problem solving and things happen with community, not to community.
  • Whole of community approach—‘whatever the problem, community is the answer’. In order to build community, it is necessary to engage all key stakeholders to access the necessary resources to achieve project objectives. This includes government departments, non-government organisations and community members themselves.

Contact: Mr Nicholas Mac Hale, Relationship Manager
Phone: 03 9309 8531, 0431 010 926

The Women in Prison Advocacy Network’s (WIPAN) Mentoring Program (New South Wales)

Award: $15,000 and National Certificate of Merit

WIPAN addresses the issues of women affected by the criminal justice system through the WIPAN Mentoring Program (WMP) for women who are currently in, and those who are exiting, prison. The WMP was developed in response to an identified post-release social support gap for women and is intended to assist and support women to stay out of prison. The program works to prevent and reduce recidivism by providing positive social connections and support to deeply isolated women. It also offers an alternative to destructive relationships that contribute to women continuing their offending cycles. By recruiting and training volunteers from the broader community, the WMP begins to build local communities’ awareness and understanding of the complex issues associated with women’s involvement in the criminal justice system and in so doing, increases social cohesion and positive community relationships. The WMP encourages a woman’s autonomy, supports her community reintegration and promotes her overall wellbeing. Additionally, WIPAN is involved in advocacy and policy work regarding a needs and issues of women currently in, or exiting, prison including community education and research. All of the components of WIPAN’s work are integral to improving and making systems fairer for women in the criminal justice system and to continue the success and growth of the organisation.

The Mentoring Program and WIPAN’s advocacy work go hand in hand as the mentees (women exiting prison) who have been through the program then become active themselves in the mentoring, advocacy and policy areas. They begin to identify and implement their own solutions to the issues that affect them. Some of WIPAN’s work was recently showcased in the official ‘The Voices of WIPAN’ launch on 19 September 2012 at NSW Parliament House. The WIPAN discussion paper Dreaming of a Safe Home: Consumer and Community Worker’s Perspectives on Housing and Support Needs of Women Leaving Prison in NSW, the WIPAN Mentoring Pilot Program Report and the WIPAN DVD Through the Tunnel and See the Light were all officially launched at this event.

Contact: Ms Kat Armstrong, Director
Phone: 02 8011 0694, 0428 312 035

North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) Indigenous Prisoner Throughcare (Northern Territory)

Award: $15,000 and National Certificate of Merit

NAAJA’s Indigenous Throughcare Project provides innovative, coordinated and culturally appropriate throughcare services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. We aim to help reduce repeat offending and Aboriginal overrepresentation in the criminal justice system.

We have two prison-based caseworkers who provide coordinated support to clients, from their initial reception at Darwin Correctional Centre and Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre, to identify and help them put in place comprehensive post-release plans. This includes advocacy in the parole system.

Our four Throughcare Support Workers provide intensive case management services, defined by client needs and characterised by its voluntary nature. We work with clients in the final six months of their sentence and through their release from custody.

Contact: Ms Priscilla Collins, CEO
Phone: 08 8982 5100, 0427 045 665

South Australia Offender Management Plan (OMP) (South Australia)

Award: National Meritorious Police Award

OMP aims to improve community safety by protecting the public from serious and prolific crime. This multi-agency initiative case manages adult offenders in the interests of reducing their illicit behaviour by using the collective resources of participating agencies, with an emphasis on information sharing.

Two pilot sites have been established within the state. A treatment and control group (containing 10 offenders for each site) was established for evaluative purposes. Offenders in the treatment group are exposed to the multi-agency approach and provided with access to counselling (drug/alcohol/gambling), assistance (in the areas of mental health, housing, finance and employment) and training. This is conducted in conjunction with law enforcement and compliance techniques.

Benefits include reduction in crime, improvement in offender rehabilitation and health, and improved interagency relationships.

The OMP is administered by a Strategic Oversight Committee, Regional Panel and Practitioners’ Forum, ensuring consistency and quality of services.

The success of the OMP indicates that it should be rolled out across the state.

Contact: Inspector Selena Dinning
Phone: 08 7322 3811, 0404 773 920

Queensland Early Intervention Pilot Project (QEIPP) (Queensland)

Award: National Meritorious Police Award

QEIPP is an initiative under the Australian Government’s National Binge Drinking Strategy and aims to bring a renewed understanding to young people and their parents/guardians of their need to take personal responsibility for their behaviour with respect to the consumption of alcohol. QEIPP concentrates on young people under 18 years who are at risk from alcohol-related harm.

Piloted in eight locations throughout Queensland, any youth intercepted for a liquor-related offence by police is sent a QEIPP information pack offering a free Alcohol Education Awareness session with a qualified health service provider. This session is designed to explore underlying factors for drinking behaviour and provide avenues for change.

Contact: Acting Inspector Mark Lingwood, Project Manager
Phone: 07 3234 2136, 0412 508 181

Reduce alcohol-related crime and violence in the Newcastle City Local Area Command (New South Wales)

Award: National Meritorious Police Award

In response to increasing incidents of alcohol-related violence in and around Newcastle, the Newcastle City Licensing Unit embarked on a project, the aim being to decrease the incidents of alcohol-related violence—particularly in and around licensed premises. A significant body of work followed and a submission was prepared for authorities, which was strongly defended by the liquor industry. Ultimately, in 2008, a range of ground-breaking conditions were imposed on 14 licensed premises. The conditions included reduction in trading hours, lockouts, restriction on the type and quantity of alcohol, and security enhancements. Three independent studies on the effectiveness of the project were conducted. All revealed significant decreases in alcohol-related crime. At the three year mark, Wigger’s study revealed a 35 percent reduction in non domestic-related assaults, a 50 percent reduction in night-time street offences and a 25 percent reduction in night-time assault-related emergency department presentations. Importantly, the reductions have been sustained over time and in fact, enhanced in recent times.

Contact: Superintendent John Gralton
Phone: 02 4926 6599, 0412 409 549

Vulnerable Persons Strategy (Queensland)

Award: National Meritorious Police Award

The Brisbane City Vulnerable Persons Strategy (VPS) has achieved lasting cultural change to the police approach to vulnerable persons. Through capacity building and frontline police participation, first response officers have been empowered as ‘first to see—first to act’ agents of change. The Brisbane City VPS has grown a values-based approach to vulnerable persons in the CBD—building trust, strengthening relationships and raising the positive profile of police in the community. This strategy reflects the operational application of value-based policing by creating a strategic direction that enables the development of value-based activities. By making vulnerable persons a prominent focus for core policing the strategy continues to inspire and refresh effective operational activities.

Contact: Senior Sergeant Corey Allen
Phone: 0405 060 570

2012 ACVPA, GPO Box 2944, Canberra ACT 2601
A joint Australian, State and Territory government initiative