Click here to read the discussion paper titled Therapeutic Community for Canberra's new Alexander Maconochie Centre.
Solaris Therapeutic Community website
The following therapeutic intervention programs will be provided at the AMC:
The ACT Corrective Services Sex Offender Program is a rolling and open-ended therapeutic group-based intervention program that addresses each participant’s individual treatment targets. This allows new participants to join the program at any time throughout the year.
Particular concepts are presented non-sequentially and are determined by the most compelling participant treatment targets within the group, as well as ensuring a balance of all offenders’ needs across the treatment period.
It is estimated that most offenders will take approximately two years to complete the group program; however, higher risk offenders will probably take longer than this.
This Program, consisting of 6 discreet modules, is delivered in a closed group format over a period of six weeks. The content of the Program is based on motivational and readiness issues so is most appropriate for delivery to those on remand or with short custodial sentences. It is also an introductory program for sentenced prisoners who move into the lengthier Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) program, Getting Me Back. For those who wish to enter the Therapeutic Community (TC), this program allows for a lengthier screening process to assess suitability for the TC.
The AMC will conduct a Therapeutic Community (TC) within the male and female neighbourhoods. The TC approach to treatment has been successfully utilised within prison populations in Australia and overseas, and provides a treatment setting in which the community itself, through self-help and mutual support, becomes the principal means for promoting healing and personal changes. It is anticipated that participants in the Therapeutic Community will enter the program during the last six months of their custodial sentence.
This Program is delivered in a rolling and open group format with new participants joining the program at any stage of their detention and exiting the program once they have completed each module. The content of each group session is determined by the program facilitators with regard to a number of factors including: salient AOD issues raised by the participants, uncompleted topics and discussions begun in previous sessions, and AOD needs or issues of individual participants which, when addressed, may be of particular benefit to that individual and other participants. This practice assists to maximise learning outcomes and provide program continuity for participants.
The Anger Management Program is a short program, particularly suitable for those with short periods in custody. It is delivered in a closed group format over a period of up to three months. The Program explores the principles of cognitive behaviour therapy, applying them to the management of frustration and anger. It provides offenders with positive and practical ways to overcome negative emotions and self-defeating behaviour which often leads to offending behaviour.
The Cognitive Self Change Program is delivered in a rolling and open group format with new participants joining the program at any stage of their detention and exiting the program once they have completed each step in the program. The Program is based on cognitive behaviour therapy principles; it teaches participants a set of cognitive based skills designed to increase awareness of thinking, recognition of risk thoughts and thinking patterns and encourages the production of new thinking that will lead the offender away from harmful, unlawful behaviour.
The Family Violence Self Change Program is a CSC Program specifically for prisoners whose offending behaviour relates to Family Violence. Skills are gained while addressing the participant’s offending history. The FVSCP is an integral part of the ACT’s overarching Family Violence Intervention Program (FVIP) wherein multi agency collaboration is focused on addressing family violence.
A program based on cognitive behavioural principles, designed specifically for indigenous prisoners, is under development.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) will be offered to prisoners at the AMC by the VET provider, Auswide Projects. Auswide will assess the individual learning needs of prisoners on admission to the AMC and in consultation with prisoners, develop Individual Learning Plans (ILP). ILPs will aim to integrate VET with employment opportunities at the prison and assist prisoners to develop practical marketable skills to improve their chances of attaining and maintaining employment in the community post release. Auswide will offer nationally accredited training courses to enable prisoners to continue studies at another institution post release, should they choose to pursue this opportunity.
Prisoners cannot be obliged to work, however opportunities for employment will be reflected in an individual’s rehabilitation plan. Where ever practicable work will be linked to relevant Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications. For example, these may include a hospitality course for prisoners employed in the kitchen, laundry and in cleaning services, horticulture for those working in the grounds, clerical positions and barista courses for those employed in the Visitors Centre coffee shop.