Annual Report 2003-2004

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Rehabilitation and Reparation

“The community benefits from the provision of employment, education, life skills, vocational and offences-focused services and programs to prisoners, offenders and victims”


Key Strategies

To achieve improved outcomes in Rehabilitation Services as an organisation we will

Key Measures

Offence focussed core programs
Recidivism rate
Educational and vocational program availability/participation
Culturally appropriate programs
Employment rate
Community work hours undertaken
Victims registered


There is a growing trend in correctional jurisdictions world-wide towards providing greater rehabilitation opportunities for offenders which reduce the likelihood of re-offending and thereby contribute to crime prevention and community safety.

A considerable body of research has shown that the provision of appropriate and targeted programs that focus upon effective methods of bringing about changes in an offender’s functioning may have significant impact in reducing crime. Offence specific programs, provided by the Department in conjunction with offence related programs such as employment, vocational education and training, health and nutrition and life and social skills contribute to rehabilitation and a reduction in re-offending behaviour. These programs are delivered across a range of locations, both in prisons and Community Corrections.

Standards and guidelines for the provision of intervention services are being established, which will be monitored to ensure that positive rehabilitative outcomes are provided in ways that are fair, cost effective and equitable.
It is important for the effective management of prisoners and offenders that they have access to daily work programs that reflect an appropriate work ethic in preparation for their release to the community.

In addition to increasing the offender’s opportunity to obtain useful employment, there is a clear expectation from Government and the community that offenders in some way make reparation to the community for their wrongdoing. It is also important that they understand the impact of their crime on victims and that their victims have the opportunity to be involved in the sentencing and correctional process.

The Department remains committed to working in partnership with Justice agencies and community groups, to ensure that prisoner and offender programs reflect Restorative Justice principles.


Key Achievements 2003-2004

During 2003-2004, the Department:

Key Objectives 2004-2005

During the 2004-2005 the Department will:

Rehabilitation Services Overview

Statistics collected show that prisoners and offenders are generally a disadvantaged group with a range of health problems. Statistics also support the widely recognised view that successful rehabilitation depends largely on an offender’s:

Religious and spiritual values also contribute to prisoner rehabilitation.

The Department’s rehabilitation programs for both prison and Community Corrections are designed specifically to address these issues.

Over 50% of offenders who enter the South Australian prison system each year are imprisoned for less than 15 days. Likewise, 48% of Community Correction’s offenders will spend less than three months with the Department. It is difficult for these offenders to access other than the most basic of rehabilitation programs.

Longer-term prisoners and offenders supervised by the Department have access to a wide range of programs, which not only target offending behaviour, but are designed to support their return to the community.

Special culturally sensitive rehabilitation programs have been developed to address the needs of Aboriginal prisoners/offenders in the correctional system.

As part of its rehabilitation services, the Department’s programs span:

Education. Education Coordinators are appointed to each prison to assist prisoners select and undertake appropriate courses of study. In addition, Community Correction’s offenders can receive certificates for vocational training which they have undertaken whilst completing Community Service work.

Offender Development Programs. The Department has designed and introduced five core programs which prisoners and Community Corrections offenders may be required to undertake. These programs are aimed at addressing offending behaviour.

Health. Prisoner health services are provided by SA Prisoner Health Services which is part of the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Prisoners have access to the same standard of health services available to the wider community.

Prisoner psychiatric services are also provided by the Department of Human Services at James Nash House.

Psychological Services. The Department employs a number of psychologists in the prison and Community Correctional system. These psychologists provide a wide range of psychological services to selected prisoners and Community Correctional offenders.

Chaplaincy Services. Multi-denominational religious services are regular occurrences in every prison. Prison Chaplains also provide religious support for prisoners and their families.

Volunteer Support. Volunteer members of the community provide a valuable service to prisons and Community Correctional Centres. Volunteers work one on one with offenders and, in particular, assist them in the pre and post release stages of their sentence.

Alcohol and Other Drugs. The Department has developed programs to reduce the effect of drugs on prisoners’ lives. Perhaps the most recent significant initiatives in this area have been the introduction of the Prison Methadone Program, which caters for prisoners with heroin dependency problems. The program is now known as the POST program Prisoner Opiate Treatment Program.

Visiting Justices. Visiting Justices, appointed by the Minister, act as independent inspectors in prisons and adjudicate on prisoner issues. Their role is vital to ensure that prisoners are being treated fairly and properly, recognising that treatment which prisoners receive may be reflected in their behaviour on their return to the community.

Specialist Courts and Diversionary Initiatives

Innovative specialist Courts have been introduced in South Australia. These Courts target services or interventions to address the needs of particular groups of offenders and provide more effective responses to particular offences. Targeted groups include those with a mental impairment, Aboriginal, Drug and Family Violence offenders.

Project teams have been established to ensure that the activities and programs of the Department make the changes necessary to achieve desired outcomes.

Rehabilitation Services Program Description


The Department’s Registered Training Organisation, Vocational Training and Education Centres of SA, (VTEC-SA), is represented in all State prisons where there is a broad range of education and training opportunities available to offenders and prisoners, including prison industry related training programs.

The Department employs a range of fully qualified educators and trainers to present courses to prisoners, which range from basic literacy and numeracy to tutorial support for university studies.

During 2003 – 2004:

Offender Development

The Department for Correctional Services currently delivers programs, based upon the principles of adult learning, which reflect the most frequently identified criminogenic needs in five key areas:

They are based upon evidence of the “what works” literature and are:

Offence specific programs such as the prisoner and offender development programs, in conjunction with offence related programs such as employment, vocational education and training, health and nutrition and life and social skills, contribute to rehabilitation and reduce re-offending.

These programs are delivered across a range of locations both in prisons and Community Corrections.

In addition, the Department for Correctional Services is supporting the development and delivery of specialised programs, and has given particular attention to several high needs areas by:

Psychological Services

Full-time psychology positions are located at the Adelaide Remand Centre, Mobilong Prison, Prisoner Assessment Unit, Adelaide Women’s Prison, Port Lincoln Prison, Port Augusta Prison, Yatala Labour Prison, Northern Metropolitan Region, Adelaide Community Correctional Centre, Northern Country Region to meet needs of psychological assessments, counselling, specialised individual treatments and specialised treatment to offenders with substance abuse related problems.

Part-time positions are also provided at the Murray-Bridge Community Correction, Adelaide Pre-release Centre, Western Metropolitan Region, Noarlunga Community Correctional Centre, and Port Adelaide Community Correctional Centre.

Additional psychology positions have been created in Rehabilitation Programs to provide specialised psychological programs to treat violent and sexual offenders.

In the last 24 months, the Department for Correctional Services psychology services has substantially improved and elevated its practices in areas of psychological assessments, individual and group psychological interventions to international standards in Forensic Psychology.

The Department is pleased with the achievements, and will be consolidating these new initiatives to provide specialised psychological services aimed at reducing recidivism of offenders under the responsibility of the Department.


The SA Prison Health Service is a unit of the Royal Adelaide Hospital. It provides health services to prisoners including general medical, surgery, pharmacy, nursing, dental, hospitalisation, psychiatric clinics, emergency care and aspects of drug and alcohol abuse.

Yatala Labour Prison and the Adelaide Remand Centre have substantial medical infirmaries which provide 24 hour medical attention. Male or female prisoners who require long-term medical attention are generally transferred to one of these infirmaries.
All other prisons have infirmaries with qualified nursing staff on duty during the day. Medical practitioners and medical specialists provide regular services.

In conjunction with our colleagues of the Prison Health Service, the challenge is to meet the mental and physical needs of prisoners and offenders with disabilities without compromising security requirements.

In this regard, a joint Department of Human Services and Department of Correctional Services steering committee has established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two agencies for the provision of Prisoner and Offender Health Care Services. This committee is compiling a framework of Principles to ensure that the MOU is applied effectively.

During 2003-2004, in recognition of the increasing number of prisoners displaying mental health related behaviours the Department investigated options into the delivery of a mental health first aid program for staff. A program has been identified (Mental Health First Aid) and it is intended to implement staff training in this area in 2004-2005.

Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy

The Department’s Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy incorporates an integrated approach to supply, demand and problem reduction.

The Department actively seeks to intercept the supply of illicit drugs in the prison system through the use of information gathered by the Department’s Intelligence and Investigations Unit, and the activities of the Operations Security Unit.

Further, the Department’s strategy seeks to identify and target the extent of prisoners’ drug problems, and provide programs to help them overcome these problems.
The Department also intends introducing the ASSIST program (Alcohol Smoking Substance Involvement Screening Tool) to all prisons with a view to providing intervention services, both internal and external.

Initiatives adopted by the Department to reduce the harm caused to prisoners by drugs include:

Prisoner Opiate Treatment Program (formerly the Prison Methadone Maintenance Program): The program commenced in 1999 in conjunction with the Department of Human Services. The program has now been established in all but one prison. An increasing proportion of prisoners are being prescribed buprenorphine.

The Drug Summit in June 2002 recommended that funding be increased to allow more prisoners the opportunity to commence drug rehabilitation while imprisoned. The expanded program, now caters for up to 300 prisoners.

Urinalysis: Prisoner and community-based offender urine sampling, to detect the presence of illicit drugs is conducted randomly or on suspicion. These tests identify those affected by drugs and those who may require rehabilitation programs. They are also conducted to identify those who may be trading in drugs.

During 2003-2004, 1756 of these tests were conducted across prisons and Community Corrections. Of these 1185 or 67% were negative and 387 or 22% were positive. In comparison, during 2002-2003, 1494 tests were conducted. Of these 613 or 41% were negative and 881 or 59% positive.

Rehabilitation Service Providers

An important part of the rehabilitation process is the need to ensure that prisoners are treated fairly and have access to services to provide an acceptable standard of living. They must also be exposed to wider community values and be able to access their religious or spiritual beliefs.

A number of service providers assist the Department to provide these rehabilitation and support services to offenders. They include:

Visiting Justices

The Department has 25 Visiting Justices of the Peace (Visiting Inspectors) who have been appointed by the Minister for Correctional Services, to independently conduct weekly inspections of each prison.

It is the role of the Visiting Inspectors to ensure that all prisoners are treated fairly and that their accommodation is clean and safe and that they have access to adequate food and clothing.

Prisoners may approach Inspectors to discuss problems that they may have. The Inspectors are also called upon to investigate any complaints that could affect the health and welfare of prisoners.

During 2003-2004, all prisons within the State were inspected weekly resulting in some 460 prison visits taking place. On average, Visiting Inspectors speak with in excess of 10 prisoners during each visit and attend to issues raised. Inspectors are instrumental in reducing tension within the prison, thereby assisting in the safety and welfare of prisoners and staff. Inspectors have reported that in following up matters for prisoners that they were able to report a high level of satisfaction with the level of cooperation that they had received from prison management and staff across the system.

Visiting Tribunals

The Minister has also appointed four independent Tribunals – also Justices of the Peace – to adjudicate on serious breaches of prison rules and hear appeals that originate from Manager’s Inquiries. The Visiting Tribunals are also involved in the destruction of contraband seized within the prison system.

During 2003-2004, Visiting Tribunals commenced a training program at a number of prisons to assist staff in conducting Manager’s Inquiries and procedures leading to prisoners appearing before the Visiting Tribunal on appeals or more serious charges.

During 2004-2005, it is intended that this will be extended to a series of training programs for institutional prosecutors to adequately train prison staff to conduct Manager’s Inquiries and Visiting Tribunal’s Inquiries.


The Department for Correctional Services’ Volunteer Unit supports 85 volunteers (including 16 in country areas). Volunteers are a vital link between the Department and the community, and during the past 12 months were actively involved in five Department for Correctional Services' Prisons and 13 Community Correctional Centres throughout the State. Their involvement is a cost-effective way of offering a range of opportunities that add value to offender case plans. This involvement included volunteers assisting prisoners with:

The Volunteer Unit works closely with Community Correctional Centres to service programs involving numeracy, literacy tuition, personal support, transport to various counselling appointments and involvement in Core Programs.

During the last financial year the Unit carried out 560 voluntary service contracts which involved volunteers travelling more than 85 000 kilometres. It has also been calculated that volunteers contributed in excess of 7900 hours to the Department during the year.

The Volunteer Unit increased its participation in both Community Corrections and prisons in rural areas. Country volunteer numbers have increased and they are now located at Port Augusta, Cadell, Whyalla, Berri and Murray Bridge.

The Volunteer Unit has maintained its close working relationship with prisons and, during this year, assisted in the relocation and establishment of the Adelaide Women’s Prison Living Skills Unit library.

During 2004-2005 the Unit will continue to expand its volunteer numbers and also explore opportunities for country volunteers to further assist offenders.

Chaplaincy Service

The 34 accredited chaplains who work in prisons across the State assist prisoners in a number of areas including worship services, pastoral care, baptisms, confirmations, burials, grief counselling, memorial services, matters of faith, preparation for marriage and Christian education. Their services are also available to staff.

Since 1996, the Chaplaincy Service has conducted 40 Alpha programs (a 12-week Christian Lifestyle program) in prisons across the State with over 300 prisoners participating. These programs continue to be well supported by prisoners and are run by volunteers.

A third Kairos program (an international life skills program) was conducted at Mobilong Prison in March 2003. A journey program (follow-up) has been conducted weekly since. It is intended that further Kairos programs will be held when convenient to the Department.

A major review of Prison Chaplaincy Services will be undertaken during 2004-2005 with a view to providing a more coherent, integrated, professional and effective chaplaincy service to the Department.

Rehabilitation Services Service Delivery

Increasingly, international and Australian correctional jurisdictions are moving towards a more constructive way of working with prisoners and offenders to reduce crime and contribute to community safety.

Case Management and Throughcare were introduced into prisons and Community Corrections as methods of managing prisoners and offenders throughout their entire sentence. The introduction of similar approaches, nationally and internationally, reflects a growing commitment to rehabilitation services that maximise the individual’s chance of sustaining long term behavioural change.

Case Management and Throughcare is a dynamic and culturally appropriate approach to the management and rehabilitation of prisoners and offenders from their first to last contact with the Department. It is based on the assessment, development and implementation of case plans specific to the needs of the individual.

Case Management is defined as:

‘the individualised and planned management of offenders based upon assessed need, implementation of case plans and progress reviews’

The aim of the Case Management approach is to provide planned services for those people entering the correctional system. The Case Management approach within the Department for Correctional Services must be able to respond to a range of needs presented by the prisoner population.

This is achieved by providing a range of intervention services such as specialist programs, education, work experience, health and family support services, all of which are designed to better equip the prisoners and offenders to manage their lives positively without incidence of further offending.

Throughcare is defined as:

'an integrated and seamless approach to the delivery of programs and services for remand prisoners, sentenced prisoners and offenders, from initial to final contact with the Department’

The Case Management process is central to the achievement of Throughcare.

During 2003 – 2004 the Department received funding from the Social Inclusion Board to further refine the impact of Throughcare coordination in establishing integrated multi-agency pathways of service delivery to prisoners and offenders. This has allowed the Department to address current impediments to multi-agency involvement in planning and service provision.

As well as developing service pathways for external agencies, the Throughcare coordination approach taken in 2003 –2004 has provided a mechanism to locate any impediments to seamless service delivery that exist within internal service pathways. Particular attention is being given to where appropriate exchange of information and assessment information may impact on transition from custody to community or from community supervision to community.

In 2004 – 2005 the Department will continue the development of Throughcare coordination with the establishment of more extensive service delivery partnerships, and increased systems capacity to deliver integrated and enduring service interventions.

Reparation Services Overview

Reparation Services of the Department for Correctional Services can be divided into three major categories:

Work carried out by prisoners and/or Community Service workers can be undertaken for community benefit.

Community Service offenders attached to the Department’s Community Correctional Centres perform the majority of the Department’s Community Service work. Preferred projects are those which provide for offender skill development.

Community work is generally undertaken for Government, Local Government, welfare and other non-profit organisations. The work provides direct and substantial benefit to the community, because it is work that the community could not otherwise afford.

Prison Community Service can either involve day work, where prisoners leave the prison in the morning and return in the evening, or Mobile Work Camps where prisoners may be absent for up to three weeks at a time.

Every effort is made to restrict joint prison/private sector work ventures to projects that do not compete against local products or manufactures.

Community Service. Community Service is carried out by offenders referred by the courts. These offenders contribute the majority of the Department’s Community Service and reparation benefits.

During 2003-2004, 178 863 hours of community service were undertaken. In comparison, during 2002-2003, offenders carried out 235 513 hours of Community Service.

Prison Industry

Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Manufacturing Enterprises SA (PRIME) is the corporate division of the Department that manages industry business units in most of the State’s prisons. It employs an average of 360 prisoners per day throughout the State’s facilities.

The development of a work ethic is regarded as significant prisoner rehabilitation issue. PRIME fosters work ethics, develops prisoner skills and trains prisoners in modern work techniques.

PRIME’s workforce covers a broad range of processing operations including metalwork, spray painting, assembly textiles and general engineering.

PRIME also contributes to the Department’s needs in the provision of clothing, fresh milk, vegetables and bakery products from its fully accredited operations at Mobilong.

PRIME operates under a very clear directive to avoid competing with main stream business, but seeks opportunities that will deliver vocational training in an environment supervised by suitably qualified trades-people. Many prisoners are trained and receive qualifications endorsed by the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA).

During 2003-2004, PRIME contributed almost $4m to the prison system, a slight increase on the almost $3.5m contributed during 2002-2003.

Prison Community Service. Selected low security prisoners are approved to undertake Community Service work outside the secure perimeter of some prisons.

During 2003-2004, the Department’s major prison Community Service initiatives included:

All of these programs are popular with prisoners, most of whom would prefer to work than be idle during the day. An indication of the success of these programs is that:


Reparation Services Programs

Community Service

Community Service is a Restorative Justice initiative, which allows offenders to undertake unpaid, work in the community as part of an order of the Court. Some Court Orders are imposed because offenders who have the capacity to pay fines have not done so.

The Department has focused on pursuing projects to offset some of the costs of this initiative to Government. Cost share revenue during 2003-2004 reached almoxst $450 000.

A special register of culturally appropriate Community Service placement organisations has been developed to enable Aboriginal offenders to be referred to work programs that are culturally appropriate. This enables the placement of Aboriginal offenders across regional boundaries if necessary.

During 2003-2004, 3086 Orders to perform Community Service were referred to the Department including:

Community Service Orders


Community Service Bonds


Community Service Fine Enforcement


Parole Community Service


Clients included Government Departments, educational institutions, charitable organisations, local Government authorities, and community organisations.

Whilst Fine Option and Expiation Community Service has been eliminated, there is some evidence of courts making increased use of Community Service for offenders who might previously have received a monetary fine.

The increase in fine repayments has reduced the number of offenders available to undertake Community Service. Those offenders now undertaking Community Service often have complex needs.

Prison Industry

Following their release, many prisoners are more likely to obtain employment as a result of achieving a diversified and comprehensive training base. Approximately 75% of all PRIME supervisors are accredited to deliver formal vocational programs in prisons.

PRIME operates at:

Cadell Training Centre

Port Lincoln Prison

Port Augusta Prison

Mobilong Prison

Adelaide Pre-release Centre

Adelaide Women’s Prison

Yatala Labour Prison

Prison Community Service

Community Work is regularly undertaken by low security prisoners from the Cadell Training Centre, Adelaide Pre-release Centre, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln and Mount Gambier Prisons and the Adelaide Women’s Prison.

The work that these prisoners undertake directly benefits the community. It also provides benefits to prison management and prisoners and the publicity attracted helps to change community perceptions of prisoners.

There are several specialised projects, which allow approved prisoners to work in the community on either short or long term contracts. These projects:

National Parks Project where carefully selected low security prisoners accommodated at the Adelaide Pre-release Centre undertake work in the Belair and other metropolitan National Parks. So successful is this program that a second work team has been established. It is estimated that almost $200 000 was provided in community benefit through work undertaken by these prisoners during 2003-2004.

Mobile Work Camps (MOWCAMPS) The MOWCAMP program allows selected low security prisoners from Port Augusta Prison to participate in supervised work contracts on community and environmental projects.
The project is a cost effective alternative to imprisonment and promotes, and is consistent with, the principles of Restorative Justice.

Generally, prisoners are absent from the prison for three weeks at a time.

While the number of prisoners on each project may differ, a normal camp would consist of up to twelve prisoners and two supervisors.

Work is of a high standard, and feedback from prisoners participating, and from those for whom the work is undertaken, is very positive.

It is estimated that since March 1996, work conducted by these prisoners has delivered well in excess of $1m in cost benefits to the community.

The program offers particular benefits to National Parks administrators who now have access to additional resources to maintain the State’s National Parks.

Work is currently being undertaken in the Coorong, Balcoona, Dangallie and Gawler Ranges National Parks. The work being undertaken at Dangallie has been reduced with the advent of the new camp in the Gawler Ranges.

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