How a middle class white boy goes to Jail, why and how I end up back there.

Seventeen years ago I was sentenced to 4 years in prison for the crime of robbery in company. In this paper I share my lived experience of prison and my struggle of reintegration back into the community, even as a member of the most privileged demographic. My presentation will be through the lens of my own lived experience, and informed by my last 5 years of working with people recently released or close to release, as well as my post-release education (Diploma of Community Services and Graduate Certificate in Counselling). My paper will address a number of issues including: • The limitations of the current punitive system to effect change; • My challenges in becoming a productive member of society; • How a prison friendship led to my career change into the community sector; • My idealistic dream to secure employment in Corrective Services NSW to impact and disrupt the system for change from the inside. The deflating reality of that. • How I came so close to achieving my ultimate dream - the inspiration for my career change. A recent realisation that what I am doing may be assisting the current system to remain the same. Ultimately I want to discuss my experience of how my 4 year sentence has turned out to be a life sentence.

Dean Lloyd

Dean Lloyd Counselling Services

I am a 44 year old Man who was born and raised in white suburban Australia. In my school years I was an elite sportsman and not one for academic pursuit. Around the age of 18 I started using heroin and became heavily addicted. My addiction took me on a wild ride, with 15+ AOD treatment admissions, a prison sentence, a failed marriage and a child born who became the catalyst for eventually getting clean and finding recovery, integrity, dignity and a life worth living. I have over a decade's worth of experience in the Real Estate industry, however in the last 6 years I have transitioned into the Not For Profit - Community sector, starting that transition in Community Housing and then working to support men exiting prison with identified AOD issues in both residential abstinence and harm minimisation models. Ultimately I landed a role writing and coordinating a pre-release prison program to assist people into employment post-release. In a complete 180 degree turn, I have developed a thirst for learning along the way and have completed academic studies in Community Services and Counselling. I am a passionate advocate for change in the current punitive Australian prison system and I proudly stand with our First Nations people as their struggle and healing continue. I am a married father of 3 who works tirelessly to better myself and my community.