When someone is charged with an offence and remanded into custody, they come from the community, and the majority of prisoners ultimately return to the community on release. VACRO’s work is based on ​a belief that the community has a responsibility to provide support to offenders and their families - to assist them to face the issues that confront them during arrest, imprisonment and upon release.

VACRO adopts a throughcare approach; working with individuals, families and communities at the time of arrest, through court, in the prison system and as they transition safely back into community life (dependent on funding).

VACRO supports people leaving prison through a number of services

This group typically experiences multiple levels of disadvantage including high rates of poverty, ill-health, intellectual disability, mental illness, substance addictions (Attorney General’s Justice Statement 2, October 2008:31).  Often, individuals entering prison have histories of domestic violence, family breakdown, child maltreatment and homelessness Given that most prisoners will return to the community, VACRO perceives benefit in the provision of support to this group of clients.

VACRO also provides services to the families and children of offenders.

Parental contact with the criminal justice system affects children 'through combined traumas of parental arrest, parent-child separation, loss of family income, changes in childcare arrangements, caregivers own distress and difficult experiences of visiting prisons' (Murray 2007, p.56) and increased probability of offending later in life.

These stressors also create higher levels of anxiety and depression experienced mainly by cargivers: mothers, older children and grandparents. Grandparents face psychological consequences of gaining a grandchild but losing their own child. They deal with feelings of inadequacy at their own parenting, and grief at the loss of their child and their own freedom. Many grandparents see this as their only alternative to permanent loss of the child to state care.


Victorian Association for the Care & Resettlement of offenders
Level 1/116 Hardware Street Melbourne VIC Australia 3000
P +61 3 9605 1900 | Free: 1800 049 871 | F +61 3 9602 2355 | E info@vacro.org.au

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