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Transitional programs

Information about the programs that help prisoners to prepare for life outside the prison system.

Prisons must provide prisoners with the opportunity to participate in transition and reintegration programs and activities. Transitional programs are designed to:

  • assist prisoners to prepare for their release
  • promote a successful transition back into the community, and
  • reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

The kinds of programs that a prisoner will need before their release will depend on the length of their sentence, their offending history and the presumed risk that they pose to the community.

Transition planning should commence when a prisoner enters the prison system, and should form part of their case management. It should intensify as the prisoner's release date nears. Some prisoner will also be provided with post-release support if required.

The Corrections Victoria Reintegration framework identifies 7 different areas where prisoners may need to focus on in order to successfully transition from prison. These are:

  • housing
  • education and training
  • employment
  • independent living skills
  • mental health
  • alcohol and drugs
  • family and community connectedness.

Needs identified during reception

When each prisoner is received into the prison, they undertake reception transition triage (RTT) to identify and address immediate transitional needs. Prisoners who are on remand are eligible for a similar program called the Remand Release Assistance Program (RRAT)

RTT includes the following service areas:

  • housing support (referral to the visiting housing service to help address existing housing arrangements (for example, getting a temporary absence for public housing)
  • debt reduction (help with disconnecting utilities, and cancelling recurring payments to reduce debt accumulating during incarceration)
  • remand transitional assistance (referral the RRAT for eligible remand prisoners)
  • child support payments (to prevent accumulation of debt).

See 5.3 Reception Transitional Triage in Transitional support and preparation for release in Part 3 Commissioner's requirements(opens in a new window).

Case planning transition (CPT)

Triage during case planning builds on the issues identified during RRT. All remand prisoner and those serving 18 months or longer in prison are provided with CPT.

If necessary, prisoners are assisted with the following at CPT:

  • assistance with minimum identification documents
  • debt reduction (referral to a financial counsellor)
  • assistance to address any legal issues (unpaid fines, warrants and family law matters) prisoner referred to a legal support service
  • assistance to build living skills capacity
  • family and community connectedness (referral to the Pip Wisdom Community Corrections Grant (PWCCG) funded programs
  • education and training (for dual disadvantage prisoners) and referred to senior education officer for support.

See 5.4 Reception Transitional Triage in Transitional support and preparation for release in Part 3 Commissioner's requirements(opens in a new window).

ReGroup

This service is the first pre-release program stage, made available to all sentenced prisoners. It begins when a prisoner has 18 months left to serve or immediately, if the prisoner has a shorter sentence.

This program involves another individual assessment, administered by the Assessment and Transition Co-ordinator. Prisoners are referred to information sessions, targeted support and external agencies to address needs identified. Details of this program, inlcuding the potential referrals are set out in

See 5.5 Reception Transitional Triage in Transitional support and preparation for release in Part 3 Commissioner's requirements(opens in a new window).

Corrections Victoria funds a range of general and targeted programs including:

  • ReLink, delivered by VACRO
  • ReConnect (both targeted and extended reintegration streams)
  • Remand Release Assistance Program

See Reception Transitional Triage in Transitional support and preparation for release in Part 3 Commissioner's requirements(opens in a new window).

See also brochure for prisoners about stages of reintegration Corrections Victoria—Reintegration pathway(opens in a new window).

More information

Reference

Corrections Victoria

This department site, Correction, Prisons and Parole, has information about the various transition programs that are available to prepare prisoners for life outside the prison institution.

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Transition programs

See brochure for prisoners about reintegration Corrections Victoria—Reintegration pathway(opens in a new window).

Commissioner's requirements

See 3.11 in Part 3 Programs and industry—Commissioner's requirements(opens in a new window).

Updated