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Criminal Justice Contact - What You Need to Know

This section looks at clients who have come in contact with the criminal justice system. The main points are that:

  • Drug and alcohol use is often a contributing factor for people in the cycle of offending and imprisonment.
  • The risk factors for relapse are similar to the risk factors for offending behaviour.
  • People who have been in prison may display behaviours associated with surviving in a custodial setting when they enter your service. By understanding the meaning behind the behaviour, you can support them to feel safe and successfully adjust to a treatment setting.
  • Treatment outcomes for people mandated into treatment are no different to those who are not mandated.
  • Giving a person time, acknowledgement and emotional safety are key to working with clients who've had contact with the criminal justice system.
What you need to know

Backgrounds of people in contact with the criminal justice system

People may come into contact with your service at a number of points in the criminal justice system, such as for bail conditions or on exiting prison. Many are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and a disproportionate number are of Aboriginal background.

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Offending behaviour and drugs/alcohol, mental health and cognitive impairment

There have been shown to be strong connections between offending behaviour of people in contact with the criminal justice system and drugs/alcohol, mental health and cognitive impairment.

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From prison to treatment

People who have been in prison often find the transition to treatment very difficult, and are often misunderstood by workers. But there are simple steps your service can take to be more aware.

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