Women of Worth: Overcoming the challenges of reintegration from the perspective of a former prisoner

YWCA Australia is a leading national feminist organisation working to achieve gender equality for all women- primarily through programs, services, housing, education and advocacy. Women of Worth is a YWCA Australia program that supports women involved in the justice system, encouraging them to make positive lifestyle changes, to re-engage with the community and to reduce re-offending. Statistics tell us just how effectively this program is working. Since commencement of the service in Darwin in 2015, Women of Worth has more than halved recidivism rates for program participants. Data provided by NT Correctional services (2017) demonstrates that only 4% of 84 WoW clients returned to Darwin Correctional Centre for new charges and (15%) for breach of conditions. The program was recently honoured with the prestigious Fitzgerald Justice Award, for contributing significantly to the protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights in the area of law and justice.

This presentation will outline the model and how it supports women on release from prison.

Rosie Cooper

YWCA
Coordinator Women of Worth Program

YWCA Australia is a leading national feminist organisation working to achieve gender equality for all women- primarily through programs, services, housing, education and advocacy. Women of Worth is a YWCA Australia program that supports women involved in the justice system, encouraging them to make positive lifestyle changes, to re-engage with the community and to reduce re-offending. And statistics tell us just how effectively this program is working. Since commencement of the service in Darwin 3 years ago, Women of Worth has more than halved recidivism rates for program participants. Data provided by NT Correctional services on 4 September 2017 shows that out of 84 WoW clients, only 3 clients (4%) returned to Darwin Correctional Centre for new charges and 12 (15%) for breach of conditions. The program was recently honoured with the prestigious Fitzgerald Justice Award, for contributing significantly to the protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights in the area of law and justice.

Rosie Cooper is the Coordinator of YWCA Australia’s Women of Worth (WoW) program, a successful prison throughcare program supporting women involved with the justice system to reintegrate back into the community and to reduce reoffending. Since commencement of the service in Darwin 3 years ago, Women of Worth has more than halved recidivism rates for program participants. The spirit of Women of Worth is genuinely guided by women at the centre of the program and informed by their experiences. As a result of low reoffending rates and strong client relationships, WoW has won the 2018 NT Human Rights Award in the category of justice. Rosie is very passionate about her work in working alongside women involved in the justice system to increase resilience and reduce reoffending.

Renae "Rocket" Bretherton

Women of Worth

Renae ‘’Rocket’’ Bretherton is a 38 year old Aboriginal women who has been in and out of prison for most of her life. In the past, Rocket has found the process of reintegration to be very difficult.

Rocket is becoming a strong advocate and passionate about making positive changes for other women in prison facing reintegration. She is also a strong voice about what can be done to improve outcomes for women involved in the justice system.