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Family & Community Support

Families and community relationships can play an important part in supporting an offender to make and sustain those changes which reduce reoffending.

Offender Management & Programs (OM&P) supports integrated and comprehensive service responses, recognising that holistic interventions that target offenders' multiple needs and involve work with offenders' families and the wider community are more likely to be effective in reducing reoffending.

Therefore, OM&P, which includes Offender Services and Programs, Compulsory & Intensive Drug Treatment, Corrective Services Industries & Education, Classification & Placement, Forum Sentencing & Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy Services, promotes and negotiates relevant projects and research in this area, looking at practice standards, program & service evaluation and ways to improve integrated responses to families and communities affected by the criminal justice processes through active participation in:

  • Community reference grou​​ps such as the Throughcare Jigsaw Group, a collaboration of organisations providing broad based services for the benefit of offenders, ex-offenders and their families; and
  • ​Joint resear​ch initiatives with academic institutions and external agencies, both government and non-government.

A strong family relationship can help offenders make and sustain the changes needed to turn away from crime. Imprisonment is known to disrupt family and community bonds and research suggests that this disruption increases the risk of reoffending.

Therefore specific services are provided for families of offenders who are in custody to facilitate contact and manage family crises as well as strengthen and maintain positive relationships. These include:

  • Travel & Accommodation Assistance Scheme to support families who face hardship in meeting the costs of travel and accommodation when visiting correctional centres a long distance away from their home which is managed by Partnerships and Community Engagement (PACE); and
  • Support and professional services to families affected by Death-In-Custody, including the subsidy for funeral expenses is provided by Chaplaincy Services.

In addition, offenders in custody require assistance with a number of services to address their offending behaviour and deal with other life circumstances. Offenders are either referred to relevant community based service providers or directly supported by trained OS&P or Community Corrections staff members who can assist them with:

  • Fundamental support services to alleviate distress or immediate concerns and address transition needs;
  • Crisis intervention services to address critical or dangerous problems;
  • Case management services to facilitate classification and case plan activities;
  • Rights protection services to uphold prisoners' rights as incarcerated citizens;
  • Wellbeing/Prevention services to promote or maintain healthy lifestyles; and
  • Services relating to specific needs such as disability, mental health, end of life;
  • Programs to address their offending behaviours including those that impact on the family.

OM&P staff members involved in this direct service delivery require a range of administrative, service and clinical support in order to maintain consistent high quality professional standards. The OM&P Branch provides:

  • Policy & procedure standards for services to offenders and their families affected by incarceration through the Support Services Team.
  • Clinical supervision to front line Offender Services & Programs staff, to enable them to reflect on their practice and enhance quality service provision.

​Key documents and resources

For more information about visits, the Children and Families of Offenders Steering Committee, and the CSNSW Strategy for service and program provision to Children and Families of Offenders visit the Information for Visitors page.

Contact the Services Support Team

Level 7 East, Henry Deane Building
GPO Box 31 Sydney NSW 2000