This information is aimed at helping you to prepare for leaving prison. It includes information about the practical things you might need to sort out before your release. Just click on the question to see answers, information, people to call and websites to visit for help.
If you are still in custody, it will probably be difficult to organise these things yourself so it is best to ask a SAPO, welfare officer or Community Corrections officer to help you. It would also be helpful if you have family or friends on the outside who could help organise things.
Contact details for agencies and services are provided here to help you to make arrangements.
> Do you have 100 points of ID?
> Can the CRC help me with housing?
> Have you applied for Social Housing?
> Have you been in contact with Housing NSW in the last three months?
> Do you need to reconnect with NSW Housing after release?
> Is the place you are planning to stay at when you got out suitable?
> Have you contacted your Parole (Community Corrections) Officer about where you’re going to live?
> Do you need emergency accommodation?
> I am due for release from custody in two weeks’ time and need an address in Sydney to be paroled to. Where could I go? (men)
> I expect to be released from prison in a couple of weeks. I need somewhere to stay and am worried that I might relapse into drug use after I am released. Who can help me? (women)
> I was released from prison three months ago and am homeless. Who can help me?
> How do I apply for community housing?
Many people leaving prison face financial difficulty. In addition to Centrelink, there are a small number of charities that can provide financial assistance. There are also various smaller services that can help and services that provide free or low-cost meals. For more details on services near to you, please call CRC’s Telephone Information and Referral Service on (02) 9288 8700.
> Do you have debts with State Debt Recovery (SDR)?
> If you have debts with other organisations, have you contacted them?
> Do you have a referral to a Financial Counsellor?
> If you are under a Restitution Order, have you arranged payment?
> Is your money being looked after by the NSW Trustee and Guardian?
> If you have to pay Child Support, have you contacted the Child Support Agency?
> Have you got a printout of your Inmate Account Cash Record?
> Do you have a current bank account?
> Have you contacted the bank to make sure your account is still open?
> Do you have a Tax File Number (TFN) or tax you can claim?
> Have you applied for Gate Money (Gratuity) and Special Gratuity payment?
> Have you contacted Centrelink?
> Do you know where to get help for problem gambling?
> I am in financial difficulty and need help with expenses. Is there anyone who can help me?
> Where can I get food vouchers from?
> I have just been released from prison and have very few clothes and no furniture or other household items. Is there any help available?
> I have a power bill that I am struggling to pay and I am worried I might be disconnected – is there any help available?
FAMILY & COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Many people leaving custody have issues with the problematic use of alcohol and other drugs. People sometimes need to access services such as drug and alcohol detoxification, rehabilitation or counselling. There are various services throughout NSW to provide this kind of help. Admission requirements vary between services and some services will accept clients who are on bail or parole or who are on an opioid maintenance treatment program. To find out which service may be able to meet your specific needs, please call CRC’s Telephone Information and Referral Service on (02) 9288 8700.
> Have you told your family and friends about relevant support groups?
> Do you have a support person upon your release?
> Have you thought about Victim-Offender Conferencing or Mediation?
> Do you receive services from a disability service?
> Have you contacted the Clinic Nurse about your Health Summary?
> Do you have a referral to an Alcohol and Other Drug treatment service?
> How can I access Opioid Replacement Treatment programs such as methadone or buprenorphine programs?
> How can I find a drug and alcohol detoxification or rehabilitation service in my area?
> If you’ve been exercising while in custody, do you know how to keep fit when you get out?
> Do you have information about SMART Recovery meetings in the community?
> Have you thought about contacting WIPAN’s Mentoring Program? (women only)
MENTAL HEALTH / DRUGS & ALCOHOL
> Do you have information about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings?
> Have you checked with the Clinic whether you are eligible for Justice Health’s Statewide Connections Program?
> Do you have information about Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings?
> Do you need mental health support information?
> If you need to, have you confirmed your AOD (Alcohol & Other Drug) treatment arrangements?
PROPERTY, CLOTHES & TRANSPORT
> Is your Property Record up to date?
> Do you have OK clothes for release?
> Have you arranged a property inspection?
> Do you have enough money to get home?
> Do you have public transport information?
> If someone is picking you up, have you confirmed this?
> Will you be on parole supervision when you are released?
> Has your proposed accommodation changed?
> Will you be on supervised parole?
> Do you believe you have been discriminated against because of your criminal record while searching for work?
> Do you have a resume?
> Have you got a CSI Work Reference?
> Have you registered with a Job Services Australia provider?
> What services might be able to help me to find a job?
> Have you received a letter about your visa being cancelled?