YWCA Australia’s Women of Worth program today received a gold award in the community-led category of the 2019 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).
The ACVPA 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.
YWCA Australia’s Anika Frieling, Program Manager of the Darwin Region, said the voluntary program supports women integrating back into Northern Territory communities on release from prison.
It provides six months pre-release and 12 months post-release support to women involved in the justice system, predominantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
“Data provided by the Department of Correctional Services shows that women who are engaged with the Women of Worth program are 69 per cent less likely to return to prison.
“Women of Worth helps women to break the cycle of involvement with the justice system, and to rejoin and contribute to their communities after release from prison. This program has made a big difference to the life trajectories of many women in the NT,” said Ms Frieling.
“An award of this magnitude not only validates the necessity and power of our program, but it acknowledges the clients, whose faith in the program and continuous input has shaped the program into the successful model that it is today.”
The annual ACVPA 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.
“Women of Worth is an effective program that addresses a clear and important need, helping to empower women to change their lives after leaving prison” said Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Michael Phelan APM.
“The program is innovative within the Northern Territory context for its engagement with women on remand and serving short sentences, and the period of post release support it offers.”
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 chaired by the AIC Director.
The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, coordinated by the AIC and co-sponsored by the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management.
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