ReConnect provides up to nine months of transitional assistance to adults exiting prison in Victoria. The program acknowledges and addresses the challenges many people face in successfully returning to the community after their release from prison, and aims to provide a safer and stronger community by addressing the underlying factors that contribute to re-offending.
How does the program help?
ReConnect provides practical and emotional support that enables people to overcome the challenges presented by the transition back to community life after prison, and aims to reduce the severity and frequency of re-offending by addressing the underlying drivers of crime.
Many people experience significant barriers in reintegrating back into the community after their release from prison – including challenges in finding and maintaining housing, managing physical and mental health, connecting with training and employment, reconnecting family and personal relationships, and in building independent living skills. Through outreach-based case management and supported referrals to local community services, ReConnect equips people with the support and resources they need to address these challenges and build a new life in the community.
How does the program work?
We assess men and gender diverse individuals exiting prison who need transitional support
Corrections staff conduct initial needs and risk assessments of adults exiting prison. Eligible individuals are referred to the program based on risk and need.
We complete transitional plans to determine the type of support we’ll provide and participants can move through the below streams based on support need:
- Brief intervention (up to 3 months)
- Extended support (up to 6 months)
- Intensive support (up to 9 months)
We provide tailored, flexible support to people exiting prison
Our post-release case-managers individually tailor their case management support to each person exiting prison.
Through case management, we:
- Provide support to liaise with housing service sector to explore affordable housing options
- Address the need for housing and material supports
- Assist with family reunification
- Refer people to a range of specialist health and well-being services (including drug, alcohol and mental health services)
- Ensure people have pathways to economic and social participation
- Help connect people to community and culture
- Support people to comply with parole conditions and/or community orders, and
- Emphasise empowerment in helping people overcome the legacy of negative experiences in their lives.
We collaborate with others to reduce re-offending
We work collaboratively with Corrections Victoria and other community-based agencies to provide a continuum of care.
This networked approach assists people’s transition from prison into the community and reduce the chances that they return to prison. It also provides better outcomes for the families of people exiting prison, as well as the communities that people return to from prison.
Who can participate in the program?
Men and gender diverse individuals with a sentence of more than 3 months, and who are assessed as high risk and high need on the ReGroup Reintegration Assessment in any of the Victorian prisons excluding Ravenhall.
Aboriginal men and gender diverse individuals with a sentence of more than 3 months, and who are assessed as high risk and medium to high need on the ReGroup Reintegration Assessment in any of the Victorian prisons excluding Ravenhall.
Where is the program offered?
Reconnect is a state-wide service available to adults in any non-remand prison in Victoria, with the exception of Ravenhall Correctional Centre. Jesuit Social Services delivers Reconnect support to those planning to reside in the North-West Metropolitan Melbourne region.
How are referrals made?
Referrals to ReConnect are made at prisons by Corrections Victoria staff, who then refer participants directly to Jesuit Social Services.