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Giving Back : Do Community Service Activities Promote Desistance from Crime? Reintegration Puzzle Conference Auckland 2013 Steve Graham Department of Justice.

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Presentation on theme: "Giving Back : Do Community Service Activities Promote Desistance from Crime? Reintegration Puzzle Conference Auckland 2013 Steve Graham Department of Justice."— Presentation transcript:

1 Giving Back : Do Community Service Activities Promote Desistance from Crime? Reintegration Puzzle Conference Auckland 2013 Steve Graham Department of Justice TASMANIA PRISON SERVICE reintegration is a process not a program

2 Context of the research Practitioner working in prison. Collaborating with range of NGO‘s. 2012: Working and studying - Masters of Criminology & Corrections thesis research project with the University of Tasmania. Voices of practitioners and volunteers. Focusing on Tasmanian prisoners’ experiences. They all come back into society – Travis (1999)

3 Themes & Aspects of the research Role of community agencies pre-release Pro-social relationships open doors to change Community Service Activities vs. Community Service Orders “We don’t want all the good work to stop” “ We have an ongoing relationship with them after they get out … ”

4 Desistance & Generativity Desistance: “…the long-term abstinence from criminal behaviour among those for whom offending had become a pattern of behaviour” (McNeill et al., 2012: 3). Generativity: “concern for and commitment to promoting the next generation”; forms of meaningful giving and reciprocity (Maruna, 2010: 118). More: See Fergus McNeill, Shadd Maruna, Stephen Farrall The distilled wisdom of Desistance scholarship in 9 pages: offending-discovering-desistance

5 Community Service Activities Community Garden Partner: Risdon Vale Neighbourhood Centre and Christian Family Centre 1 garden, 3 places Spud crop 2012 Minimum garden area The Big paddock SecondBite’s 760 kg

6 Community Service Activities Community Garden Partner: Risdon Vale Neighbourhood Centre and Christian Family Centre Spud crop 2012 Minimum garden area The Big paddock SecondBite’s 760 kg

7 Community Service Activities Community Garden Partner: Risdon Vale Neighbourhood Centre and Christian Family Centre Spud crop 2012 Minimum garden area The Big paddock SecondBite’s 760 kg

8 Community Service Activities Community Garden Partner: Risdon Vale Neighbourhood Centre and Christian Family Centre Spud crop 2012 Minimum garden area The Big paddock SecondBite’s 760 kg

9 Community Service Activities Dog Training at Tasmania Prison Service Partner: Dogs Homes of Tasmania and Canine Utility Service Partners (CUSP) Tall Sefton Media from CUSP

10 Community Service Activities Dog Training at Tasmania Prison Service Partner: Dogs Homes of Tasmania and Canine Utility Service Partners (CUSP) Tall Sefton Media from CUSP

11 Community Service Activities Hand Made With Pride Partner: UnitingCare Tas, Cancer Council Tasmania, and Launceston General Hospital teddies & baby doonas Caps and turbans Teddy with scarf

12 Community Service Activities Hand Made With Pride Partner: UnitingCare Tas, Cancer Council Tasmania, and Launceston General Hospital teddies & baby doonas Caps and turbans Teddy with scarf

13 Community Service Activities Hand Made With Pride Partner: UnitingCare Tas, Cancer Council Tasmania, and Launceston General Hospital Teddies & baby doonas Caps and turbans Teddy with scarf

14 Community Service Activities Bushfire Recovery Community Assistance Partner: Residents and farmers of Dunalley and other fire affected areas Helping recovery efforts after the fires

15 Community Service Activities Bridge & Creek Renovation, Risdon Vale Partner: Risdon Vale Neighbourhood Centre and Clarence City Council Our guys made this

16 Community Service Activities Bluff Restoration & Land Care Partner: Coastcare Stonewall construction and environmental restoration initiatives

17 Community Service Activities The Lea Scout Camp Partner: Scouts Tasmania The big flying fox. Building and environmental restoration and maintenance work when the site is empty.

18 Community Service Activities Artists with Conviction Annual Exhibition Partner: Tasmanian Museum Art Gallery and University of Tasmania 100+ entries from prisoners: photography, sculpture, glass art, painting, installations etc. Art contributions and collaboration with staff and volunteers.

19 Community Service Activities On the Mission Truck Partner: City Mission Furniture pick-up & delivery

20 Community Service Activities Family Visits Area Reno by Inspire Partner: Inspire City Church and 130 volunteers and tradies ANZAC Day makeover: 3 days, $20,000+ donated, prisoners and prison staff working alongside volunteers 130 people on site

21 Community Service Activities Family Visits Area Reno by Inspire Partner: Inspire City Church and 130 volunteers and tradies ANZAC Day makeover 130 people on site

22 Community Service Activities Taste of Tasmania Partner: Hobart City Council Setting up and packing up the great food hall eating area at the Taste

23 Community Service Activities Government House & Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Partner: Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and Government House 100 years of service and horticulture at RTBG Government House

24 Community Service Activities Other activities in Tasmania also include: Partners: Barista coffee services Cricket umpiring Football umpiring Educative school group tours of prison

25 Features of community service activities New identity for prisoners Relationships & pro-social bonds to community Reverse reinvestment of community in prisoner; new opportunities (‘changing lives and life chances’) and restored sense of citizenship Builds/recognises human capital, work ready skills Not typical community service orders “ They appreciate being seen as an individual instead of a prisoner - having to do the project ”

26 “ It ’ s a natural thing to do these projects ; the prison can [ only ] do so much and together we can achieve what we are after ” Community service activities with social contexts that aid desistance Generativity RolesIdentityCapacityHope Opportunity Bonds

27 Don’t wait for generativity to happen Community punishment or a desistance focussed reintegration activity? Qualitative measuring of my activities For Corrections Prioritised over the menial Relational, building legitimacy Who benefits For Agencies Inclusion and Real Engagement Post release Social & Bridging capital For Prisoners Paying it back New identities Voluntary, choice Human capital Citizenship

28 Virtue doesn't happen in a Vacuum Moral performance of corrections “Prisoners can change.” Is casework enough to promote change? Not just a bridge but a journey

29 Summary of ‘Do Community Service Activities promote Desistance?’ 1.Some CSA‘s are better at aiding desistance than others. 2.The findings of this study show that community service activities do have a positive impact at a number of levels. 3.This research challenges the notion of allowing prisoners to contribute to broad categories of community service without first measuring the potential value of the project, social and human capital and the relationships gained. 4.Need to recognise the policy implications of including community partners in reintegration planning. 5.Further questions arising from the research.

30 References & Contacts reintegration is a process not a program Department of Justice reintegrate.info – for reintegration & transition resourcesreintegrate.info Discovering Desistance blog: McNeill, F., Farrall, S., Maruna, S., & Lightowler, C. (2012) Discovering Desistance: How and Why People Stop Offending, IRISS Insights 15 (http://www.iriss.org.uk)http://www.iriss.org.uk Thesis online: Graham, Steve (2012) Paying It Back: Does Community Service Activities Promote Desistance In Prisoners? Masters of Criminology & Corrections Thesis, School of Sociology & Social Work, University of Tasmania: Hobart


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