Dr Mindy Sotiri1
1Community Restorative Centre, Broadway, Australia
This paper will explore perpetual punishment in the context of leaving prison in NSW, with a particular focus on policies impacting on housing, employment and social connection post-imprisonment. It will argue that a confluence of discriminatory policies and practices, siloed government approaches to recidivism, and a continued over-reliance on a criminogenic RNR framework within criminal justice agencies, combine to make the possibility of genuinely building pathways outside of the criminal justice system extraordinarily difficult (regardless of the personal motivation or readiness of people at the point of release). Drawing on recent research conducted by the Community Restorative Centre (including data tracking of CRC clients post-participation in programs between 2012 and 2016) and utilising multiple case-studies from CRC’s transitional programs, a road-map for successful reintegration will be proposed. It is suggested that this roadmap includes; people with lived experience front and centre of conversations about ‘what works’, community led reintegration, and service delivery which transparently places the structural predictors of recidivism at the heart of service delivery design.
Mindy Sotiri (PhD, BSW) is the Director of Research, Policy and Advocacy at the Community Restorative Centre in Sydney. She has worked as a social worker, advocate, researcher and activist in the community sector for the last twenty years. For most of this time she has focused on the criminal justice system, reintegration and post-release.