University of Western Australia
This paper reports on a project aiming to identify the needs of Indigenous male and female offenders on (supervised or full time) release to develop effective community-based throughcare strategies. It will summarise the experiences and first findings of interviews conducted during field visits to remote communities in the Kimberley (WA), town communities around Darwin and the Melville community on the Tiwi Islands (NT). We opt for a methodology that is not developed from within the criminal justice system, which is mainly designed for white male offenders, but for a non-governmental and community-led approach. Therefore, we start from the needs and strengths of male and female offenders and their communities and build on the knowledge and expertise of local Indigenous people and services. We are using the grass-roots experience of the people involved to develop strategies for effective throughcare, which are culturally appropriate, acceptable and therefore achievable in a context of Indigenous people returning to their communities. The findings will be reported back to the people and agencies involved in the project and they will form the basis of guidelines for government agencies on how to improve their throughcare approach for Indigenous offenders in preparation for release.
Hilde Tubex received a four year Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council for her project: ‘Reducing imprisonment rates in Australia: International experiences, marginal populations and a focus on the over-representation of Indigenous people’. She is currently working on a Criminology Research Grant to develop effective throughcare for Indigenous offenders. She is based at the Faculty of Law of the University of Western Australia.