Assessing the Impacts of Throughcare Programs for Indigenous Prisoners: New Evidence from Trials Conducted in the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia

This presentation will report new findings from three randomized controlled trials designed to assess the impacts of prisoner throughcare (PTC) programs for indigenous prisoners. These PTC programs are implemented by non-profit organizations in the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia and funded by the Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC). The trials were conducted between 2014 and 2019. Each PTC program provides wraparound social work case management service for indigenous prisoners, beginning around six months before their release and continuing for up to two years post-release. The programs focus on assisting individuals to complete in-prison programs and make (and implement) a plan for accessing government benefits and finding appropriate accommodation and employment once they leave prison. The programs are aimed primarily at reducing rates of re-incarceration. In partnership with three leading providers of PTC programs in three different states/territories, and with support from PMC, we designed and implemented three trials, run in parallel, to assess program impacts. The presentation will report the results to date from these three trials, focussing on their impacts on rates of re-incarceration among prisoners one-year after their release.

Michael Hiscox

Harvard University

Michael J. Hiscox is the Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs in the Department of Government, Harvard University. At Harvard he is the Founding Director of the Sustainability, Transparency, Accountability Research (STAR) Lab and a faculty member of the Behavioral Insights Group at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. He is also a faculty associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment. While on leave from Harvard between 2015 and 2017, Professor Hiscox was the founding Director of the Behavioural Economics Team (BETA) in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australian Government. He continues to serve as an adviser to BETA. Professor Hiscox received his Bachelor of Economics (First Class) from the University of Sydney in 1989 and his PhD in Government from Harvard University in 1997.