An innovative trial of peer mentor support for ex-prisoners to break the cycle of recidivism.

Great news! My Churchill Fellowship  research has now come to life in Australia!

As we know, in overseas jurisdictions, ex-prisoners who have reformed contribute to reducing re-offending by mentoring newly released prisoners and advising on improvements to service systems that enable people to live a crime free life.

Philanthropic trusts have granted Deakin University funds to develop and trial a peer-led mentoring program to break the cycle of crime and imprisonment in Geelong. This partnership project between Deakin University and Corrections Victoria will design and test a model of peer mentorship for the Australian context, based on my Churchill Fellowship research. Deakin University has appointed me the Project Coordinator.

Many thanks to these Philanthropic Trusts, Deakin University and Corrections Victoria for enabling this to happen.

Give Where You Live: Health & Wellbeing Innovation Grant
Deakin University: To reduce the likelihood that a person will commit further crime and return to prison by providing them with a structured peer mentoring program upon release from prison. The peer-mentoring program will provide direct support and referral to a range of support services that support people who are disadvantaged.

Helen Macpherson Smith Trust: Regional Resilience grant
Deakin University: The role of Peer Mentors in breaking the cycle of crime and imprisonment in Geelong. To undertake a trial of peer led mentoring program for people leaving prison and returning to Geelong under the supervision of Community Correctional Services to test applicability in the Australian context.

The R E Ross Trust
Deakin University: The Role of Peer Mentors in Breaking the Cycle of Crime and Imprisonment in Geelong.

Stay tuned!

About Claire Seppings

Churchill Fellow 2015 Bachelor of Social Work (Monash University, 1984) Victorian Custody Reference Group ‘Dennis Mc Millin Access to Justice Award’ (2012) Minister for Human Services Award for Exemplary Service to Customers and Stakeholders (2008)
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14 Responses to An innovative trial of peer mentor support for ex-prisoners to break the cycle of recidivism.

  1. Carol Nikakis says:

    Well done Claire. We will look forward to seeing some great results!

    [cid:image001.jpg@01D0E62B.805041F0] [cid:image002.jpg@01D0E62B.805041F0]

    Carol Nikakis
    Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders
    Level 1, 116 Hardware Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
    Phone: (03) 9605 1900 Mobile: 0417 555 690 Website:
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    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dean says:

    Well done Claire,

    Hopefully this will create the outcomes and momentum needed to roll out programs like this across Australia.

    Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. says:

    Very exciting Claire, look forward to reading and hearing more about this 🙂

    Diego Corbalan | Senior Program Officer, Transition and Reintegration Unit Rehabilitation and Reintegration Branch, Offender Management Division | Corrections Victoria (03) 8684 6525 | DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE & REGULATION Level 30 /121 Exhibition St MELBOURNE VIC 3000 This office is based on the land of the Traditional Owners, the people of the Kulin Nations. We acknowledge their history, culture and Elders both past and present.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maddy Harford says:

    Congratulations you fabulous woman! I suspect Joe has had a hand in this as well. I will email him separately. Maddy x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jennifer Taylor says:

    Congratulations Claire,

    It’s all coming together.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alec TUC says:

    Hello Claire ,
    This is really great stuff well done in Australia
    I think the UK is miles behind
    The BBC science unit is spending a day with our project on Wednesday with a view to making a film about the lives of our service users and our project
    Thanks for keeping me informed

    Alec McFadden
    Manager Salford Prison Project

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Alec and that’s wonderful news about the BBC science unit and your service! Guess what you may feel the UK miles behind from Oz, but we’re building this model on all I learnt from you, the UK and the other amazing countries I visited and learnt from on my Churchill Fellowship trip. Look forward to hearing more about the potential BBC show (and seeing it) – cheers Claire


  8. Great news Claire looking forward to more exciting initiatives.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bronwyn Naylor says:

    That’s wonderful news, Claire. Well done.


  10. Hi Claire,

    Happy New Year!
    Very best of luck with the work and look forward to keeping up to speed on it

    Alice O’ Flynn
    Care After Prison

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: User Voice » User Voice founder visits Australia to spread the peer-led word

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