The department’s Volunteer Unit provides support to offenders in prison and the community through a wide range of services provided by around 100 registered volunteers across the State.  Volunteer involvement is a cost-effective way of offering a range of opportunities that add value to offender plans. Volunteers are a vital link between the department and the community, and are actively involved in prisons and Community Correctional Centres throughout South Australia.

Since the Volunteer Unit’s inception in 1973, the type of support provided to offenders has continually adapted to meet the complex needs of present day offenders.  Volunteers within the department undertake around 3 000 tasks and provided nearly 10 000 hours of support to offenders. The range of support provided by volunteers included the following services.


The provision of transport is by far the busiest area of support provided to offenders.  Volunteers provided a transport service to assist prisoners with pre-release needs. This service also provides for the movement of offenders in the community to attend appointments and departmental programs.

Transitional Release Program

Volunteers provided practical support for prisoners attending Court or released from prison to assist with the transition to supervision in the community.

High Intensity Offender Support

Volunteers provide support to high intensity/high profile offenders with intensive supervision conditions, by providing transport to reach appointments, or by assisting with supervision and social supports.

Mentor Program

Volunteers visited socially isolated offenders to provide pro-social supports in prison and in the community. The support provided is adapted to meet the individual needs of the offender.

Learners Permit Assistance Program

Volunteers at Cadell Training Centre provide theoretical and practical driving tuition to prisoners. A theory based Learners Permit Program for offenders in the community was also provided by volunteers at Port Adelaide Community Correctional Centre with successful outcomes for a number of offenders.

Library Support

Volunteers provided support services to prison libraries. These support services are expected to increase across the department, in line with an increased focus on offender literacy.


With the implementation of Shaping Corrections, the use of volunteers within education increased at a number of institutions. With a focus on basic literacy and numeracy, volunteers provide support to Yatala, Mobilong, Adelaide Women’s Prison, James Nash House and Cadell.

If you would like further information about becoming a volunteer, please contact the Volunteer Unit on 8440 3608.