Prisoner and offender rehabilitation

Prison rehabilitation services

A range of rehabilitation services are available to offenders in prison. These include:

  • educational services
  • employment skills training
  • substance abuse counselling
  • housing assistance
  • chaplaincy services.

There are also programs specifically for Aboriginal prisoners and offenders.

Education and training

Nationally accredited courses and training packages are run in numeracy, literacy and vocational studies. A variety of subjects and courses are offered up to a Certificate 4 level.

Prisoners who attend approved education or training courses are paid an allowance.

Prisoners can also apply to study a range of courses by distance education, including university study. Computer resources may be available but internet access is not available at any of the prisons.

Partnerships with external training providers and VTEC-SA are in place to deliver vocational qualifications in prisons. Short training courses that deliver valuable job-ready skills are also available.

Sites such as Cadell Training Centre also offer high-risk license qualifications such as forklift, white card, full licence and backhoe licences.

Work opportunities

All South Australian prisons offer employment opportunities. The aim is to improve prisoners work skills and to help them find paid work on release. There are a large range of jobs that prisoners can access. Prisoners get paid an allowance for each day they work and this money is added to their prisoner account.

Where possible work environments are operated like any private industry business. This helps to match prison based jobs as closely as possible to industry needs.

Work areas

There are various areas prisoner may work which include:

  • unit based activities
  • prison industries
  • supervised work parities
  • Cadell Country Fire Service
  • release to work.

Prison work areas - Department for Correctional Services

Types of prison industries

  • Woodwork workshops - there are woodworking industries at Port Augusta Prison, Yatala Labour Prison, Mount Gambier Prison and Port Lincoln Prison. They produce a range of high quality goods such as dining room sets, wooden toys and kitchen chopping blocks.
  • Farming and horticulture - prison farms are located at Cadell Training Centre, Port Lincoln Prison and Northfield.
  • Metal workshops - these exist at Port Augusta Prison, Yatala Labour Prison, Mount Gambier Prison, Port Lincoln Prison, Mobilong and Mount Gambier Prison. Goods produced include pizza ovens, lobster pots and beds for refurbished prison accommodation.
  • Concrete products and recycling workshops - Mobilong Prison produces concrete sleepers used in retaining walls. They also operate a television recycling service.
  • Prison-based industries - prisoners are also able to work in the kitchen, laundry and education centres. Mobilong Prison has a bakery and Adelaide Women's Prison has a busy textiles workshop.
  • Pre-release work activities - these are opportunities for prisoners nearing the end of their sentence.

Prison Industries

Offender rehabilitation programs

These programs address specific risk factors related to reoffending and are designed to assist offenders to live in the community without reoffending.

Offenders are assessed for program involvement after they have been sentenced.

Programs for violent offenders

  • Violence Prevention Program - a high-intensity program approximately 10 months in duration.
  • Violence Prevention Program-me - a program for offenders assessed with specific learning needs which runs for approximately 10 months.
  • Living Without Violence Program - a moderate intensity program approximately four months in duration.

Domestic and family violence program

A program designed for male offenders with an identified history of violence and abuse against female intimate partners. The program helps offenders take responsibility for their behaviours, and understand the impact of their violent or abusive behaviour on their relationships.

A partnership is in place with the Women’s Safety Services SA to offer support to both current and former partners of offenders who participate in this program.

Programs for sexual offenders

  • Sexual Behaviour Clinic - for offenders who are assessed as moderate to high risk of sexual re-offending. The high intensity program runs for approximately 10 months.
  • Sexual Behaviour Clinic (moderate) - a moderate-intensity five month program for offenders deemed moderate to low risk of re-offending.
  • Sexual Behaviours Clinic-me - a program for offenders assessed with specific learning needs which runs for approximately 15 months.

Making changes program

A program designed specifically for offenders with moderate to high risk of general re-offending and substance use issues. It has different versions for male and female offenders and runs for approximately eight months.

Key treatment areas include:

  • core beliefs and cognitive distortions
  • emotional management
  • substance use.

Therapeutic community program for substance misuse

This program is designed specifically to treat substance use within a prison setting.

The program has three phases:

  • Contemplating Change: Understanding the mechanisms behind substance use
  • Preparing for Change: Developing and strengthening life skills
  • Taking Action for Change: Relapse and prevention strategies for a balanced lifestyle.

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Page last updated 7 November 2019

Provided by:
Department for Correctional Services
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