Developing the SA Prison Library Service


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The SA Department for Correctional Services has a volunteer program to support offenders both in prison and in the community. Volunteers have been critical in the development of the prison library service, resulting in a well managed and expanding library service that benefits prisoners by increasing their education opportunities and supporting better literacy.

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Developing the SA Prison Library Service

  1. 1. VOLUNTEER UNITDepartment forCorrectional Services 1
  2. 2. Background Started in 1975 In response to Government initiative to involve the community in the rehabilitation of offenders Based in Port Adelaide Community Correctional Centre Covers statewide area 2
  3. 3. Scope Currently 104 volunteers Through mandate, DCS volunteers are able to support:  alldepartmental Directorates including central office & staff undertaking rehab  prisoners in all SA prisons  offenders in every community correctional centre 3
  4. 4. General Information Departmental volunteers are:  governed by DCS Policies and Procedures  required to use government vehicles  assigned to tasks closest to home where possible (subject to skills matching task request)  reimbursedfor incurred expenses as per staff (Commissioners Standard 3.2) e.g.:  Meal Allowances  Mileage Reimbursement 4
  5. 5. Statistics – 2011/2012 FY Number of requests ers the “without volunte lease  3997 Adelaide Pre-Re on Centre would not functi s” as well as it doe Hours Bob Bolton, Pro grams re-  18187 Coordin ator, Adelaide P (APC) Release Centre Value of volunteer work in DCS  $426,000 5
  6. 6. Reasons why people volunteer Work experience Retirees – ‘Grey Army’ Give back to the community Support study Centrelink commitments  Voluntary Work Initiative  Newstart 6
  7. 7. Volunteer Programs Transport: The provision of transport remains the busiest area of support provided to offenders. Volunteers provide a transport service to assist prisoners with pre-release needs. This service also provides for the movement of offenders in the community to attend appointments and departmental programs. Prisoner Family Visits: Volunteers support prisoner family members to maintain contact during a prisoner’s sentence by transporting parents/children to prisons, escorting unattended children in for visits and supporting family members from interstate to undertake visits to their kin. Prisoner Visiting Program: Volunteers visit socially isolated prisoners to assist with resocialisation and developing communication skills. Prisoner Release Program: Volunteers provided practical support for prisoners attending court, or newly released from prison, to assist with the transition to supervision in the community. 7
  8. 8. Volunteer Programs Community Mentor Program: Volunteers support socially isolated offenders to develop pro‑social supports in the community. The support provided is adapted to meet the individual needs of each offender and volunteers work closely with case managers ensure goals are established. Education: Volunteers support Education Coordinators in primarily metropolitan prisons currently to provide basic literacy/numeracy to prisoners. 8
  9. 9. Prison Library Program2009 As part of wider Prisoner Education Review, meeting with former Corrections Minister Tom Koutsantonis Recognition of link between education and recreational reading2010 Library Review Project established Project Officer recruited (DCS Volunteer Abigail Day) 9
  10. 10. Project Goals Review existing library functions around all prisons Create formal link between Education & Library Programs Increase prisoner utilisation of libraries Create ‘reading room’ style libraries (where possible) Develop recommendations for upgrading library services Develop better connections with community based libraries Improve quality of resources available 10
  11. 11. Recommendations official recognition of existing library services all libraries to be under supervision of Education Coordinators combining all Education & Libraries in Education Centres standardise majority of management processes develop partnerships with community based resources more strategic management of resources  computerised library system  resources catalogued, barcoded and covered  prisoner librarians recruited and paid in ALL prison libraries  borrowers registered and accountable for items they borrow  development of quality standards in relation to donations and library resources  provision of funding for higher quality new resources 11
  12. 12. Where are we right now? Mobilong/Cadell/Port Lincoln  access for all prisoners – able to visit library, sit down and read a book or borrow to take back to cell  Pt Lincoln - computer to be set up when they figure it out  YLP  currently 2 independent libraries within YLP. One within Education, one run by volunteers from visits area  @24,000 donated resources used to run both areas  education library currently only accessible by prisoners assigned to education through assessment process  strip searches discourage engagement with education  volunteer library provides ‘outreach’ service to all units Note: YLP to be next prison upgraded. Education library to be culled & catalogued. Volunteer library to run alongside & gradually be combined to become one library within Education Centre. 12
  13. 13. Where are we right now- cont… Port Augusta – similar to YLP Adelaide Remand Centre  Complete outreach service provided by DCS volunteers using donated resources  Upgrade to be started shortly after completion of construction work Adelaide Womens Prison  2 libraries (within ‘Mainstream’ (high security area) & within Living Skills Unit)  both physically independent of Education Unit but now managed by Education Coordinator  all resources covered, catalogued, barcoded  computer system operational in both libraries  prisoner librarians running libraries, supported by DCS volunteers  protectees unable to access at same time as mainstream prisoners,  opening hours waiting to be approved by management 13
  14. 14. Project Goals Review existing library functions around all prisons - achieved Create formal link between Education & Library Programs - achieved Increase prisoner utilisation of libraries – partially achieved Create ‘reading room’ style libraries (where possible) – partially achieved Develop recommendations for upgrading library services - achieved Develop better connections with community based libraries – partially achieved 14
  15. 15. Where to from here… Team Leader, Prison Library Services to continue to play a significant role alongside the Volunteer Coordinator and Education Coordinators in implementing the new computer systems and ensuring resources are catalogued and managed appropriately. existing volunteers to continue to support the ongoing provision of library services whilst the review and upgrades occur additional volunteers will continue to be recruited to support the libraries as they are enhanced throughout the coming year. existing volunteers to continue to provide valuable training and support to new volunteers 15
  16. 16. Process of Entry Written Application & resume Interview National Police Certificate Local Induction to assigned work location Departmental Induction Program Team Leaders & buddies Reviews, ongoing training & support 16
  17. 17. HOW TO CONTACT USIf you would like more information on volunteer supportfrom Departmental Volunteers please contact:Julie Woodhall, Coordinator, DCS Volunteer UnitTel: 8440 3608oremail: DCS:Volunteer Unit 17