Strong foundations and clear pathways
Women Offender Framework and Action Plan – June 2014 to June 2019
The release of the Strong Foundations & Clear Pathways: Women Offender Framework and Action Plan is a milestone for the Department for Correctional Services. The initiative is about laying a strong foundation of rehabilitation opportunity for women offenders and identifying clear pathways to transitional support and community reintegration.
In May 2015 the Department for Correctional Services published the Consultation Report: Phase 1 Women Offender Framework Development Project.
Many of the Consultation Report findings challenged status quo ideas and practices and called for a new shared vision for addressing offending by women.
Consistently emphasised in the Consultation Report findings was the importance of:
- acknowledging women’s gendered and cultural needs in design of correctional environments, services and practices
- designing and implementing approaches that strengthen the reliability and quality of service pathways to support women’s community reintegration
- mandating planning and accountability requirements that reflect women’s priorities
Framework and Action Plan
The Strong Foundations and Clear Pathways: Women Offender Framework and Action Plan have been developed based on consultation findings and research into effective engagement and intervention with women who offend.
While holding women accountable for the crime they commit, the initiative does not shy away from acknowledging the resilience and resourcefulness of women and their ability to focus on a new life pathway for themselves, their families and ultimately in connection to their communities.
The initiative sets out practical steps to enable women to access the opportunities, support and resources they may need to make and sustain necessary changes in their lives. Another explicit intention of the initiative is enabling opportunity for the community as a whole to contribute to building safer South Australian communities. We know that producing quality justice outcomes requires broadening the circles of positive influence in the lives of women offenders including family, cultural and spiritual groups, individuals, business sectors, industries and organisations cascading out to the broader community.
To support implementation of the Strong Foundations & Clear Pathways: Women Offender Framework and Action Plan a Ministerial appointed Workgroup will be established. To be comprised of government, business and community sector representatives, the Ministerial Workgroup will provide a mechanism for overcoming obstacles to development and system change as well as open up opportunity for input by a broad range of key interest groups into this important initiative.
Strong links will also be made possible through the Ministerial appointed Workgroup to other Government priority reform areas including Justice Sector Reform, Justice Reinvestment, A Right to Safety - South Australia’s Women Safety Strategy 2011-2022, Achieving Women’s Equality - SA and other Government strategies and advancements in areas of employment, higher education and skills. The Department for Correctional Services is entering a new era with the release of the Strong Foundations and Clear Pathways: Women Offender Framework and Action Plan. The initiative creates a new benchmark for South Australia.
Community engagement - how you can help
We invite and encourage community, government, support agencies and business partners along with correctional staff to provide input into the advancement of this important initiative.
Designed as an enabling initiative, the Strong Foundations & Clear Pathways: Women Offender Framework and Action Plan will assist us to build on the significant investment we have already made to enhance our correctional environments and capabilities. Through the initiative we are positioned to increase our capacity to deliver dedicated infrastructure, programs and resources better tailored to women who offend.
The mix of strategies set out in the Strong Foundations & Clear Pathways initiative also highlights the importance of working together with sector partners and through community engagement in leading change.
This text is from the Chief Executive's Message and the joint foreword by Hon Gail Gago [Minister for the Status of Women] and Hon Tony Piccolo [Minister for Correctional Services] which can be found in the Women Offender Framework and Action Plan.