Coming Home


Upon release the prisoner is expected to organise their own transport. DCS staff may be able to assist with getting a bus ticket or calling a taxi. Prisoners should wait at the gatehouse for family to collect them.

Prisoners released from a regional prison can have help to return to Adelaide.

Meeting the supervising officer

On the day of release prisoners must meet with their supervising officer.

Information about our community correction services.

Things to consider upon release

  • organising identification
  • opening a bank account
  • going to Centrelink
  • attending job search and job interviews
  • buying essentials like food and toiletries, and
  • connecting with health services.

Normal life will include activities that prisoners may have not done for a while including:

  • organising clothes and laundry
  • travelling to locations
  • using public transport, and
  • paying bills and budgeting your weekly funds.

After the initial release and excitement things can often become flat. Those released from prison should know that they are not the first to feel this way and there is support including family, friends, volunteer groups, counsellors and their case manager available.

Returning home can be challenging for all. Family roles will have changed and community life maybe difficult to re-join. When a prisoner returns to their family whether as parent, a son or daughter, or as a partner things will have changed.

If the prisoner has a partner

They will often have had success and be feeling proud with how well they have coped.

Some partners may be questioning the relationship and the changes that the release will bring.

Their strength and independence during the prisoner's time in prison can lead to issues on release if prisoners assume that things will go back to as they were before.

If the prisoner has been in prison for a lengthy period they will have to rely on partners to help with modern life changes such as smart phones or the internet.

They may have moved on and the relationship is no longer working. The prisoner will have to accept this.
It may be part of their parole conditions that they do not have access to these people.

There may also be intervention orders that prevent the prisoner from contacting their partner. It is important the prisoner understands these and the consequence of breaking them which may include being returned to prison.

If the prisoner has children

Children respond to having a parent in prison in different ways. Younger children may feel insecure and need reassurance that the person is not going away again. They can become clingy, worried and anxious when apart and some may withdraw.

Older children may have taken on extra responsibilities in the prisoner’s absence.

They may feel challenged if these responsibilities are taken away. They may feel protective of the other family members.

They may react when being asked to do household chores if they have become used to either being in charge or doing the chores without being told. Children may have been teased at school or in the community they may take this anger out on the returning prisoner.

They may have been in care and formed bonds with their carer or foster family. They may blame the person for loss and disruption of this relationship.

Children may need to, or want to, talk about their feelings but not with the person has been release from person.

There is support available such as the Parent Helpline.

Prisoners should plan to talk to their children before release.

If the prisoner is a son or daughter

Parents will be relieved they no longer have to visit their son or daughter in prison but feel anxiety about them returning to the family home.

The family home may have been more peaceful without the person. They will be worried what it will be like once the person comes back.

Many parents worry that the person will re-offend especially if drugs were involved.  They may be more controlling than before in an effort to prevent this.

The person should talk to them before your release to establish ground rules and expectations.

Ask questions such as:

  • do they want you back in their home
  • will you need to pay rent or board
  • what are the house rules about visitors, and
  • what are the house rules about washing and tidying.