Inmates work to address domestic violence

Domestic Violence Program: A new program raising awareness about domestic violence is underway at Bathurst Correctional Centre.

Domestic Violence Program: A new program raising awareness about domestic violence is underway at Bathurst Correctional Centre.

Bathurst Correctional Centre is one of four jails across the state rolling out a new program to tackle domestic violence.

Corrective Services NSW has partnered with Legal Aid NSW to establish a brief intervention that helps inmates on remand understand the content of apprehended violence orders and remind them about the importance of abiding by these legal orders.

CSNSW offender services and programs group director Jayson Ware said the program also helps offenders recognise their abusive behavior and develop skills and knowledge to live free of domestic violence.

“We need to help inmates as soon as they enter prison and intervene as quickly as possible, given that the average time on remand for inmates charged with domestic violence offences is just under seven days,” Mr Ware said.

“Up to 38 per cent of inmates on remand for domestic violence offences, who are released on bail, re-offend before their court matter has been finalised. We need to change their thinking and behaviour in the very early days.”

The program has commenced at Bathurst Jail along with the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre at Silverwater, Cessnock and Grafton jails.

Mr Ware said initial feedback had been very positive.

“Staff have told me that the majority of offenders have been eager to participate as it has helped them understand their responsibilities,” Mr Ware said.

“This is one of the first times that we are attempting to reduce reoffending for inmates on remand.”

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