The Creating Futures Justice Program today received a silver award in the community-led category of the 2023 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPAs).
The ACVPAs recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia and play a vital role in highlighting effective community-based initiatives to prevent crime and violence before it occurs.
Creating Futures was established in response to requests from community members for support to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system. The program is designed to support and empower people, with priority for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who have recently been released from prison, and is having great success in significantly reducing recidivism rates. Creating Futures is an initiative of Weave Youth & Community Services, a place based organisation located on unceded Gadigal and Bidjigal land in Sydney, that has been working to empower people to change their lives for 47 years.
The program offers flexible, tailored support to participants for a minimum of 12-months, and includes assistance with bail, pre and post-release support. Participants also receive holistic case management for a range of issues including access to accommodation, income support, health services, counselling, crisis support, prosocial activities, access to cultural engagement opportunities, and access to the wider suite of Weave programs. The program supports people to live contributing, fulfilling lives.
“The Creating Futures model is an innovative model that was informed by what people were telling us they needed. We are grateful to see the value of place-based, long-term, community-led support recognised. It is an approach built on empowerment and client-centred therapeutic relationships,” said Acting Program Manager Janelle Vasilevski.
“This award acknowledges how Creating Futures has successfully crafted a program that not only addresses the issues faced by Aboriginal people being released from prison and mitigates those risks, but it has a deep cultural understanding and sensitivity embedded in the process,” said Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Deputy Director Dr Rick Brown.
These annual awards recognise the outstanding contributions being made across Australia for crime prevention, including the development and implementation of practical projects to reduce violence and other types of crime in the community.
The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments and are delivered by the AIC. All projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service, and is chaired by the AIC Director.
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