Doin Time 3CR Community Radio 855am

In case you missed it, I was a quest on 3CR’s Community Radio ‘Doin Time’ program on Monday August 1st. with presenters Marisa and Peter, speaking on my Churchill Fellowship research. Doin Time is on every Monday 4:00pm to 5:00pm. It is ‘an open forum, presenting information and discussion around issues faced by prisoners in the criminal justice system and migration detention centres’. http://www.3cr.org.au/dointime

 

Posted in Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Churchill Trust Medallion Dinner

It was an honour to receive my Churchill Fellowship medallion at a dinner hosted by the Victorian Churchill Fellows’ Association (VIC CFA) on Friday 22nd July in Melbourne, and share the momentous occasion with my daughter Annie Irving and close colleagues and friends from the criminal justice sector and Victorian Custody Reference Group. The medallion, designed by Churchill Fellow Wojciech Pietranik, is the formal recognition that I have completed my Fellowship trip and research report. It was an awe-inspiring evening, presenting with other Fellows, sharing highlights from our Fellowships, the incredible impact they have had and how we are continuing to achieve our project aspirations. It was a very special occasion also having the opportunity to meet the team from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust who have supported and encouraged me along my whole fellowship journey.

Churchill Fellowship medallion

Churchill Fellowship medallion

Churchill Fellowship medallion

Churchill Fellowship medallion

CFM 21

CFM (4)

CFM (11)

CFM (14)

CFM (22)

CFM (13)

CFM (18)

CFM (9)

Posted in Churchill Fellowship | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Another successful Reintegration Puzzle Conference!

Now in its 12th year and held in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, on 20-22 June, the Reintegration Puzzle Conference, themed ‘Disability and Incarceration: Multiple Disadvantage and the Need for Individualised Support’ was a great success! http://rpc.conferenceworks.com.au/

Many thanks to Deakin University and the conference organising committee, excellent discussion was had over the three days on very important issues.

I facilitated a workshop on ‘Peer Mentoring: Learnings from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and USA Models’ on Monday 20th June and then on June 21st facilitated a Plenary Panel discussion on ‘Learning from Former Prisoners Who Have Gone Straight…It Makes Sense’.

The Peer Mentoring workshop saw participants from across the country and globe reinforced in their commitment to incorporate peer mentoring in the criminal justice system in Australia; and build a network of like-minded agencies to help lead and advocate for this much needed aspect of reform.

Peer Mentoring Workshop: Learnings from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and USA models.

Peer Mentoring Workshop: Learnings from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and USA models.

The Panel was held at the end of the day on Tuesday 21st June, and encompassed the following members: Arthur Bolkas (Criminologist, Freelance writer/speaker, Program Manager, Bridge of Hope Foundation), Glenn Broome (Specialist Family Liaison Worker, VACRO), Julie Dempsey (Consumer Consultant, Forensicare), Shaymaa Elkadi (General Manager, Offending Behaviour Programs, Corrections Victoria) and Dr Bronwyn Naylor (Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Monash University).

My opening comment; “Time to listen to those with lived experience, Debbie Kilroy, CEO, ‘Sister’s Inside’ tweeted during my pre Churchill Fellowship trip presentation at last year’s Reintegration Puzzle conference”, set the scene. I then touched on some key findings from my Churchill Fellowship research and recommendations.

Julie Dempsey followed, speaking from the mental health consumer perspective. Espousing why we need peer mentoring for people in prison as is common in the mental health sector; and urging the development of a similar peak body to VMIAC, the peak Victorian non-government organisation for people with lived experience of mental health or emotional issues, for those in the prison system.

As I found during my Churchill Fellowship the instant & lifetime consequences of a criminal record continue to hamper people in their ability to contribute to society & support their families even as returned citizens, and how countries like the UK and US have commenced significant reform through ‘Ban the Box’ campaigns. Dr Bronwyn Naylor has undertaken valuable research in this area and spoke to the audience about the progress made by other countries and the next steps required by Australia to follow similar reform.

Arthur Bolkas and Glenn Broome spoke from the heart, stole the show and had the audience riveted, as here were two people with significant lived and professional experience, insight and advice to impart. Arthur and Glenn left an indelible view with the audience that learning from former prisoners who have gone straight does make sense and vitally needed in the Australian criminal justice system.

Shaymaa Elkadi rounded the panel discussion with a very positive forward-looking Corrections Victoria perspective, supporting a range of innovative, evidenced based rehabilitation and reintegration programs.

I concluded the session with a parting statement for the audience. Believe in reformation and celebrate your success stories.

Plenary Panel: Learning from Former Prisoners Who Have Gone Straight…It Makes Sense.

Plenary Panel: Learning from Former Prisoners Who Have Gone Straight…It Makes Sense.

Posted in Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

12th Reintegration Puzzle Conference 20 – 22 June 2016 Geelong, Victoria

Come along and spread the word: The 12th Reintegration Puzzle Conference, themed ‘Disability and Incarceration: Multiple Disadvantage and the Need for Individualised Support’ is being held in Geelong, Victoria, Australia on 20 – 22 June 2016. I will be facilitating a workshop on Peer Mentoring: Learnings from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and USA Models on Monday 20th June and then on June 21st facilitating a Plenary Panel discussion on ‘Learning from Former Prisoners Who Have Gone Straight…It Makes Sense’. Spread the news and look forward to seeing you there.  http://rpc.conferenceworks.com.au/

Posted in Reintegration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Budget needs greater crime prevention focus

Well said Michelle @ Smart Justice

Smart Justice Blog

Substantial law and order spending outlined in today’s State Budget continues to focus too heavily on addressing the consequences of crime, rather than tackling the causes to stop it in the first place, according to Smart Justice, a coalition of 34 community organisations led by the Federation of Community Legal Centres.

‘A $596 million law and order package emphasising increased police numbers comes amid continued heavy spending on Victoria’s prisons, with more than $1billion spent annually just to contain an excessive prison population. The emphasis on prisons has so far delivered little clear benefit, with recidivism levels still over 40 per cent in the two years following release,’ said Michelle McDonnell, senior policy adviser for Smart Justice with the Federation of Community Legal Centres, today.

‘The one thing we should expect from criminal justice spending is that it should actually be effective in making the community safer. Imprisoning more people…

View original post 355 more words

Posted in Justice | Leave a comment

12th Reintegration Puzzle Conference – Geelong, Victoria, Australia: 20 – 22 June 2016.

Earlybird Registrations Close Friday 13th May 2016 for the 12th Reintegration Puzzle Conference. The Conference, themed ‘Disability and Incarceration: Multiple Disadvantage and the Need for Individualised Support’ is being held in Geelong, Victoria, Australia on 20 – 22 June 2016. I will be facilitating a workshop on Peer Mentoring: Learnings from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and USA Models on Monday 20th June and then on June 21st facilitating a Plenary Panel discussion on ‘Learning from Former Prisoners Who Have Gone Straight…It Makes Sense’. Spread the news and look forward to seeing you there.  http://rpc.conferenceworks.com.au/

Posted in Reintegration | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Let’s Have a Cuppa’ – Castlemaine Mail

'Let's Have a Cuppa' - Castlemaine Mail 24th March 2016

‘Let’s Have a Cuppa’ – Castlemaine Mail 24th March 2016

Many thanks Lisa Dennis and Jeff Jones, Castlemaine Mail

Posted in Justice | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Churchill Fellowship Report now available

My 2015 Churchill Fellowship report To study the rehabilitative role of ex-prisoners/offenders as peer mentors in Reintegration models is now available on the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Claire Seppings Churchill Fellow

The Report summarises the key findings of my seven-week Fellowship investigations in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and United States of America and provides the evidence for any jurisdiction in Australia to involve reformed offenders in all aspects of criminal justice reform. By embracing the expert experience of those closest to the problem and valuing reformative success stories, we have the opportunity to improve the lives of many people, their families and community and realise real reform.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss my findings.

Best wishes

Claire

Churchill Fellowship 2015

Churchill Fellowship 2015

Posted in Churchill Fellowship, Justice, Reintegration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Insights into rehabilitative justice to feature in new Churchill report

Source: Insights into rehabilitative justice to feature in new Churchill report

Posted in Justice | 1 Comment

Real Reform – Midland Express 8th December 2015

Real Reform Midland Express 8.12.15

Real Reform Midland Express 8.12.15

Posted in Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments