Where we are up to
Between May 2019 and November 2020, the Naalamba Ganbu and Nerrlinggu Yilam (the Yilam) conducted a review of existing programs, services, and initiatives to illustrate support services that were in place within Corrections Victoria. This included consultation with 40 staff in various roles and areas, through 12 focus groups, to consider what works well and identify where there may be opportunities for improvement. The review focused on ‘quick wins’ that the Department of Justice and Community Safety could incorporate into existing programs and content, and made recommendations accompanied with strategies for implementation.
During this period, the Community Correctional Services (CCS) Sub Committee Group met regularly and put together a proposal for an 18-month pilot that would see aspects of Case Management facilitated and led by regions, with the aim of connecting and strengthening partnerships with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs). A 2021-22 State Budget funding bid for this project was unsuccessful. Due to a lack of dedicated funding and the impact of COVID-19 on service delivery and workforce for ACCOs, it was decided in late 2020 that the project would be placed on hold.
In August 2022, the Yilam completed a service mapping exercise to understand what steps regions were taking to move towards greater Aboriginal community involvement in CCS and what opportunities exist to build and strengthen compliance support for Aboriginal people on community-based orders. This exercise illustrated many positive examples taking place throughout the regions, including building partnerships and creating referral pathways with local ACCOs, and creating opportunities for Case Managers to do outreach and service Aboriginal people directly from ACCOs they are working with.
Due to the above-mentioned funding and service delivery impacts, this project remains on hold. It is anticipated that once it is able to continue, the Yilam will liaise directly with regions to find out more about how positive examples and initiatives identified by the service mapping exercise can be support in the long term.
Opportunities will be considered to move towards an Aboriginal community-controlled Community Corrections Order, which could include a regional pilot for Aboriginal Case Managers to work out of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs). This will include building capacity within ACCOs to move towards the administration of Community Correction Orders.