Brendan Ray

Grafton jail to lead way in domestic violence prevention

A GROUND-BREAKING new program that aims to reduce domestic violence from reoccurring will soon be rolled out at Grafton Correctional Centre.

The program is being run by Corrective Services NSW, in partnership with Legal Aid NSW, and has already started at other correctional centres across NSW. It assists inmates on remand to understand the content of apprehended violence orders and remind them about the importance of abiding by these and other legal orders.

CSNSW Offender Services and Programs Group Director Jayson Ware said the program also helps offenders recognise their abusive behaviour and develop skills and knowledge to live free of domestic violence, which current programs address in a longer timeframe.

"We need to help inmates as soon as they enter prison and intervene as quickly as possible, given that the average time on remand for inmates charged with domestic violence offences is just under seven days," Mr Ware said.

"We need to change their thinking and behaviour in the very early days."

Mr Ware said initial feedback had been very positive.

"Staff have told me that the majority of offenders have been eager to participate as it has helped them understand their responsibilities," Mr Ware said.

"This is one of the first times that we are attempting to reduce reoffending for inmates on remand.

"This also represents CSNSW's commitment to focusing on reducing domestic violence and keeping women and children safe."

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