The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) Throughcare Program and the Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services (NTDCS)

Cindy Torrens

NAAJA Throughcare
Domestic and Family Violence Case Manager

Cindy is a Warlmanpa woman who grew up in the small town of Tennant Creek in the Barkly Region of the Northern Territory. Not long after finishing school there she moved north to Katherine where she remained for 12 years, and then north again to Darwin in 2008.

Cindy commenced her first support role in Katherine with the Anglicare NT Supported Accommodation Assistance Program. Since that time, she’s worked in both government and non-government organisations, providing support primarily to Indigenous people in the areas of health, housing and criminal justice. Cindy has also spent some time recently living and working in New Zealand where she worked with social housing provider, Link People (formerly Keys Social Housing) a non-government organisation supporting those experiencing mental health and addiction to access safe, affordable and long-term housing. She is currently employed as a senior case manager at NAAJA Throughcare where she works specifically with people with family and domestic violence related convictions.

Salas Abraham

NAAJA Throughcare
Domestic and Family Violence Case Manager

Salas Abraham was born and raised in Kerala, India, where he completed a Masters degree in Social work in 1995 and an Honours degree in Law in 1998. He has significant Community Development experience in India, including developing and implementing an HIV/AIDS Program in his home state of Kerala. Salas migrated to the United Kingdom in 2002 where he worked in Child Protection, as well as in other social and community work roles. Since arriving in Australia’s Northern Territory in 2009, he has gained significant AOD experience as a result of his seven years as a social worker at Banyan House (a Therapeutic Community / alcohol and drug residential rehabilitation centre) and is now employed by NAAJA Throughcare working with people convicted of domestic violence related offences. Salas identifies himself as a strong advocate for social change and shares a deep passion for the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAAJA’s Throughcare Program provides intensive pre and post release support to Aboriginal people from the Darwin Correctional Centre and Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.

Two of our nine Case Managers work specifically with people with convictions relating to domestic and family violence. We commence working with clients six months prior to their release from prison. During this pre-release phase, we work to establish rapport with clients and provide support to formulate realistic and achievable post-release plans that take account of their needs, risks and goals. We take a strength-based approach to our work and where appropriate involve family in the planning process to strengthen support for our clients on return to their community.

In collaboration with Treatment Services at the Darwin Correctional Centre, our DV Case Managers attend the Family Violence Program and glean their caseloads from participants. Many of our clients participate in programs during their incarceration and while this is positive, we’re conscious prison is an environment where people are not faced with the realities of release, including the pressures they face upon release. We seek to enhance the value of program participation by continuing conversations about family violence when clients are developing their post-release plans and reiterating strategies learnt once they have returned home.

This joint presentation with Family Violence Program Facilitators from the Darwin Correctional Centre will showcase the unique partnership being developed in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with lived experience of prison to reintegrate back into the community.