The South Australian Department for Correctional Services’ (DCS) programs Our Way My Choice and Violence Prevention Program – Aboriginal Men have received a bronze award in the community-led category of the 2022 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPAs).
Now in their 30th year, the ACVPAs recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia. They play a vital role in highlighting effective community-based initiatives to prevent crime and violence, before it actually occurs.
Commencing in 2015, Our Way My Choice is delivered by the DCS Aboriginal Services Directorate and is a culturally responsive preparatory and wellness program for Aboriginal men.
“The program aims to increase self-awareness and the engagement of the participants, it is currently delivered in prisons but has also been delivered for use in the community,” Scharlene Lamont, Executive Director, Aboriginal Services Directorate, Department for Correctional Services said.
“It’s designed to optimise the results of criminogenic programs – of those who completed the program and went on to attend criminogenic programs, 97% completed, compared to 70% of those who hadn’t attending the Our Way My Choice program.”
The Violence Prevention Program – Aboriginal Men is a specialist high-intensity program that targets Aboriginal men assessed as high-risk of violent reoffending. The program comprises of strong cultural factors relevant to First Nations people, and their involvement in the criminal justice system.
“Evidence based and culturally sensitive, this project has been created by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people and has achieved outstanding outcomes for the men involved,” 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.