Supporting Indigenous People Leaving Prison in the ACT: An Introduction to the Worldview Foundation:

Lorana Bartels


Lorana Bartels commenced as Professor of Criminology at the Australian National University in May 2019. Prior to that, she was Professor of Law at the University of Canberra, where she was the Head of the School of Law and Justice from 2016 to 2018. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. Lorana is a member of the ACT Law Society Criminal Law Committee, ACT Reducing Recidivism Advisory Group, Prisoners Aid ACT management committee, National Sentencing Network Leadership Committee, International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence Global Advisory Council and the editorial boards of the Alternative Law Journal, Criminal Law Journal and International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. She has published extensively on criminal justice issues, especially sentencing, corrections and the treatment of Indigenous peoples and women in the criminal justice system. She is currently undertaking research on two Australian Research Council grants on public opinion on parole and sentencing for sex offences. Her publications include three books; over 80 refereed journal articles, book chapters and conference papers; and consultancy reports for the ACT Chief Magistrate, ACT Justice and Community Safety Directorate, Corrections Victoria, Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse and Tasmanian Sentencing Advisory Council.

This paper gives an overview of Worldview Foundation, which runs a holistic well-being and employment opportunity and is currently focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT criminal justice system. This includes an intensive 13-week pre-release course run over 5 days per week, which focuses on mindset change and forming productive lifestyle habits. Post-release, team members are fully employed in Worldview's social enterprises, accommodated in shared transitional housing, and intensively supported by Indigenous and non-Indigenous mentors for up to 6 months. Worldview continues less intensive support for up to 12 months and will conduct monitoring and evaluation for 5 years, with independent evaluation by the Centre for Social Impact underway.

Worldview’s philosophy is to set a very high standard of success for team members and then to do whatever it takes to help them reach this standard. A successful team member will be working at least 21 hours per week, attending the gym 3 days per week, paying rent on a property and maintaining a productive and healthy lifestyle, which includes making new positive social connections and developing relationships with family. Success coaching and ongoing mentoring is the essential glue which holds the program elements together, as it enables team members to achieve the mindset change required for this level of success. Other components include nutrition, personal development, addiction treatment, social and cultural connection, healthy relationships, education and training.

The paper draws on the presenter’s involvement and observations as an Academic Adviser to Worldview.