CRC Research and Publications

CRC Submission for the Select Committee on the High Level of First Nations People in Custody and Oversight and Review of Deaths in Custody
– Written by First Nations (Post-Release, Transition and AOD Support) staff at CRC including: Kym Bugmy, Terina King, Gail Gray, Melissa Merritt, Tara Morrison, Kelly Parker & Elizabeth Wymarra with Mindy Sotiri (CRC Director Advocacy, Policy and Research)

CRC’s position is that the decarceration of First Nations people is not a ‘wicked’ problem, or an impossible policy dilemma. We believe that dramatic decarceration is entirely possible when there is enough political will, alongside the prioritising of resourcing communities to provide meaningful support for people at risk of incarceration. We know that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities we work with hold the answers, and are waiting for an Australia that is brave enough to sit up and listen.

CRC would like in this report to explicitly acknowledge the work and legacy of Uncle Ray Jackson who served on the Community Restorative Centre board for 10 years, and as an Aboriginal advisor to CRC for many more. Uncle Ray spent his life working to confront systemic racism and violence in criminal justice system settings, as well as supporting and fighting for the families of people who had died in police and prison custody.

Download and read the paper here.

 


CRC Submission to the House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs – Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence
– prepared by Dr Mindy Sotiri with Marisa Moliterno,
Kelly Parker & Gail Gray

This submission discusses the work of The Miranda Project, and how this innovative, gender specific approach supports women leaving prison at risk of domestic violence and further criminal justice system involvement. The submission spotlights the areas where the sector currently fails to meet the needs of women, whose complex needs can result in being precluded from what services are currently available.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Submission to Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into Homelessness
– Prepared by Dr Mindy Sotiri

If we use the most conservative estimates, each year at least 4000 people leave prison into either homelessness or unstable accommodation. In NSW there are only 38 specialist beds for people leaving prison who are homeless. This submission outlines both the key issues for this group, the current failures of the service sector to meet the needs of people leaving custody into homelessness, and proposes best practice models for supporting this population.

Download and read the paper here.

 


KWOOP Coalition – Profile of Women In Prison Part A: A Snapshot
– by Lucy Phelan, Dr Mindy Sotiri & Margaret Scott for KWOOP

The KWOOP Coalition identified a gap in the availability of consolidated evidence on the status of women in prison in NSW and the services available to them. Profile of Women in Prison Part A: A Snapshot contains the data pertaining to women in prison as at August 2019. It establishes a baseline profile of women in prison in NSW, which exposes the extraordinary levels of disadvantage and unmet need in this population.

Download and read the paper here.

 


KWOOP Coalition – Profile of Women In Prison Part B: Census of Services for women affected by the corrections system
– by Lucy Phelan & Dr Mindy Sotiri

Part B: Census of Services is a comprehensive compilation of support services for women in NSW affected by the corrections system. It lists information such as type of support, location, capacity, eligibility criteria and funding among other factors. The full report is contained in Part A: A Snapshot.

Download and read the paper here.

 


CRC Submission into the Inquiry into Support for Children of Imprisoned Parents
– by Dr Mindy Sotiri with notes from Ola Elhassen

This submission begins by noting the similarity between the observations and recommendations for the barriers and challenges identified by CRC, submitted to the 1997 Upper House Inquiry into Children of Prisoners. Many of these remain identical, across a span of more than twenty years.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Locked Out: The implementation of the NDIS for people in prison in NSW: 2016-2019
– by Dr Mindy Sotiri and Sophie Russell

In 2016, the implementation of the NDIS resulted in a transition for people with disabilities away from disability specific projects previously provided by state funded programs. The documenting of this process and its impact upon CRC clients noted some profound resource and structural challenges in obtaining NDIS packages for people covered holistically by the previous supports. This report identified key issues, findings and recommendations to address these challenges.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Vicious cycle for prisoners who are homeless on release needs urgent action
– by Dr Mindy Sotiri & Dr Ruth McCausland

The NSW government must take steps now to pre-empt what could happen to people leaving custody without a place to live amid the coronavirus pandemic. While our attention has rightly been focused on options for decarceration, we also need to urgently focus on the reality of what will happen when people are released from prison.

Read the paper here.

 


How we can put a stop to the revolving door between homelessness and imprisonment
– by Sophie Russell & Dr Mindy Sotiri

There are thousands of people released from prison into homelessness in the community each year. Demand for homelessness services across the board in NSW is growing. However, despite this increase in the provision of services, the homelessness sector is not funded or able to meet demand.

Read the paper here.

 


Perpetual Punishment in Inner City Sydney
– by Dr Mindy Sotiri & Sophie Russell

The announcement to exclude vulnerable people from accessing public housing – due to conviction or charge of drug supply or drug manufacture – in February 2018, ignores the well-established research connecting homeless and imprisonment. Casting one group of the population as a threat to inner city residents, allows them to be sacrificed to ease public tension, while offering no real community safety solution.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’ STATEMENT OF Mindy Sotiri
– Dr Mindy Sotiri

This document is the statement prepared by Dr Mindy Sotiri for the 2019 Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’. In this, she discusses how CRC functions with our client group, a vast majority of whom have poly-drug use. She provides context to discuss the key issues facing people during their transition from prison and post-release, and how different areas of disadvantage interact to prevent or diminish the engagement with services.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Community Restorative Centre Supplementary Briefing Paper for Special Commission into Ice Inquiry
– prepared by Sophie Russell & Dr Mindy Sotiri

This paper asks whether the Risk Needs Responsivity (RNR) model developed in 1990, that has driven a particular approach to therapeutic correctional programs across NSW and other Australian jurisdictions, has been denied the appropriate critical lens due to its presumed singular efficacy. Five key critiques of this approach are overviewed in this briefing paper.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Pathways Home: How can we deliver better outcomes for people who have been in prison?
– by Sophie Russell & Dr Mindy Sotiri

People who are homeless are over-represented in Australia’s prisons, and previously incarcerated people are over-represented among the homeless. Supporting pathways out of the criminal justice system is built upon a significant body of research, forming the best-practice reintegration support for people with complex needs.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Throughcare and Reintegration: What Constitutes Best Practice in Community Based Post Release? A Community Restorative Centre Submission
– by Dr Mindy Sotiri & Deirdre Hyslop

This is a Community Restorative Centre Law Reform submission, September, 2017, responding to the Law Reform Report into the over-incarceration of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. This response engages in two parts; with best practice in post-release support and transitional throughcare, and the second section responding specifically to the needs of women leaving prison.

Download and read the paper here.

 


The Provision of Services Under the NDIS for People with Disabilities Who are in Contact with the Criminal Justice System
– by Simone Rowe & Jim Simpson with Eileen Baldry & Patrick McGee

People with cognitive impairments are highly represented in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. This over-representation is directly related to the lack of appropriate disability supports commonly available to this group in their communities. The results are deprived and abused lives for the people with cognitive impairments, either cycling in and out of trouble and prison or, for a significant number indefinite detention with no likelihood of release. These problems are particularly marked for First Nations peoples.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Shown The Exit Revisited: CRC’s Everyday Experience in Assisting People Leaving Custody – published in ‘I Shall Be Released: Post-Release and Homelessness’ Parity Magazine, March, 2017.
– by Dr Mindy Sotiri and Alex Faraguna (Community Restorative Centre)

In an article entitled Shown the Exit in the October 2016 edition of Parity, we presented five essential elements that have been identified through research and CRC’s practice over its 65-year history that are crucial to the success of post-release support programs. This follow-up article aims to expand on three of these key themes and share insights gained by CRC’s experienced transitional workers, with a focus on issues surrounding homelessness.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Evaluation of ACT Extended Throughcare Pilot Program. Prepared for ACT Corrective Services (January 2017)
– by Andrew Griffiths, Fredrick Zmudzki, Shona Bates (Social Policy Research Centre)

This report presents the findings of the evaluation of the Extended Throughcare program provided by ACT Corrective Services. Extended Throughcare is a voluntary program that provides support to people who have been incarcerated who are returning to the community at the end of their custodial sentence. Overall, the findings are positive, demonstrated by both the continuing high uptake of the Program, clients being released to housing or other accommodation services, and the drop in recidivism.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Shown The Exit: A Snapshot of the Issues Facing People Leaving Custody in NSW in 2016 – published in ‘Responding to Homelessness in NSW’ Parity Magazine, November, 2016.
– by Dr Mindy Sotiri and Alex Faraguna (Community Restorative Centre)

In 2015/2016, 17,108 people were released from NSW prisons into the community. Sourcing suitable housing and accommodation options for people on release from custody is the single greatest challenge for community organisations working in the space of reintegration and transition. Although it is difficult to gauge the exact numbers of people on release who are exiting into homelessness, what is clear is that this population is significantly over-represented in prisons. Reception data indicates that as many as 60% of people in prison have come from primary or secondary homelessness.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Submission to the Proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguarding Framework (April 2015)
– by Simone Rowe, Sophie Russell, Dr Mindy Sotiri (Community Restorative Centre)

With the introduction of the NDIS, at least in its current manifestation, the sustainability of CRCs existing services to people with intellectual and mental disabilities remains unclear. Furthermore, given their complex presentations, there is significant concern that people with intellectual and mental disabilities who are enmeshed in the criminal justice system will not fare well under the NDIS; rather, it appears likely that their incarceration rates will continue to escalate.

Download and read the paper here.

 


Homelessness in Ex-Prisoner Populations: A CRC Submission for FACS (2016)
– by Dr Mindy Sotiri and Alex Faraguna (Community Restorative Centre)

Sourcing suitable housing and accommodation options for people on release from custody is the single greatest challenge for community organisations working in the space of reintegration and transition. Although it is difficult to gauge the exact numbers of people on release who are exiting into homelessness, what is clear is that this population is significantly over-represented in prisons. What is also clear is that not only does the experience of homelessness significantly increase the risk of imprisonment (and other forms of adverse criminal justice system contact), imprisonment itself increases the likelihood of homelessness.

Download and read the paper here.

 


An Exploration of Best Practice in Community Based Reintegration Programs for People Leaving Custody in the US and the UK.
– Dr Mindy Sotiri (Community Restorative Centre)

This project is an exploration of best practice in community-based reintegration services for people leaving prison; it has a particular focus on issues related to working with complex needs populations. Complex needs populations include people with cognitive impairment, mental illness, long histories of criminal justice system involvement, homelessness, and limited community connection and engagement. This research included an extensive literature review, hundreds of email and phone conversations with experts around the world, and 26 direct service visits to community based programs in Chicago, Detroit, Washington, Providence, New York, London and Glasgow.

Download and read the paper here.

You can read more on The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust website.

 


Supporting people with Cognitive Impairment and criminal justice system involvement: A briefing paper overviewing key challenges and service gaps.
– Alison Churchill, Dr Mindy Sotiri and Simone Rowe (Community Restorative Centre)

This paper highlights some of the major challenges for people with an intellectual disability, complex needs and a history of involvement with the criminal justice system transitioning to the NDIS.

The Community Restorative Centre’s (CRC) concerns can be summarised as follows:

  1. The separation of disability and non-disability related behaviours under the NDIS framework (and the unmet need for holistic support for complex needs clients);
  2. The complicated implications of the ‘choice and control’ policy framework of NDIS in relation to this population group;
  3. The implications of the fee-for-service model in terms of ‘cherry-picking’ clients in order to ensure organisational financial sustainability (why clients with rapidly changing complex support needs won’t be supported);
  4. The need to appropriately consider the risks posed to the community if this group are not adequately supported (and the poor access to services in the community for this group);
  5. The importance of understanding the full effects of incarceration on individuals with intellectual disability and complex needs;
  6. The implications of excluding prisons in NDIS pilot sites (which means there is no possibility of implementing internationally recognised best practice through-care models of support)

Download and read the paper here.