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Claire Seppings – Breaking the Cycle – Straight Talking Ex-Offenders Reduce Recidivism – Reintegration Puzzle Webinar
26 April 2022 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
The criminal justice price-tag in Australia is more than $17 billion. And – it is ever increasing! Recidivism is one of our greatest social dilemmas. ‘Experts’ and ‘advocates’ continue to call for urgent action. But the only response to the ongoing question is, how?
Claire Seppings found the answer on her Churchill Fellowship, that Only Offenders Can Stop Reoffending. Claire found the evidence: A mentoring program in Liverpool prison found that just 15% of those mentored, reoffended and returned to prison. Compare that with our national average of 46%! She engaged with more than 65 agencies and 100 committed and passionate people working across the criminal justice system in the UK, Ireland, Sweden and the USA and found that ex offender ‘through-the-gate’ peer mentoring can reduce the likelihood of those released from prison reoffending and returning to prison. Yet despite all the evidence that straight talking ex-offenders are the ONLY credible messengers who can realistically connect with and motivate offenders to successfully challenge and transform destructive thinking, attitudes and actions; only a handful of such agencies exist in Australia.
One of these was Straight Talking, based on Claire’s Fellowship. Philanthropically funded, it was trialled in a prison in Geelong, Victoria. Claire was appointed by Deakin University as the Project Coordinator. Research by Deakin’s Professor Joe Graffam, into the benefits of Straight Talking found it to have successfully reduced re-incarceration. Yet it remains the only ‘through-the-gate’ peer mentoring trial in Australia.