ReConnect supports people to successfully settle back into their communities after being released from prison.

It’s a voluntary program that provides assertive outreach and practical assistance to ease the pressures of returning home. Our in-prison program, ReLink, provides a safe space for people to hope and plan for a better future for themselves and their families. ReConnect provides the support needed for those plans to take shape.

ReConnect is available to eligible sentenced people who work one-on-one with a post-release case manager to develop and achieve their transition goals. Through ReConnect, people leaving prison can successfully reintegrate back into their communities.

“We have the potential to empower individuals to live better, more fulfilling lives, which can grow the strength of their family, and the overall fabric of the community. In ReConnect, some of the most rewarding work is supporting mothers and fathers to regain control of their own lives so they can build better relationships with their children.” – Finn, ReConnect case manager


How ReConnect works

Returning home from prison can present people will new and different challenges. ReConnect provides proactive support for people transitioning back to their communities after being in prison – helping to ease the pressures that can come with returning home.

ReConnect provides individualised, flexible and intensive support to people with high and complex transitional needs through two streams:

  • Targeted reintegration stream: up to four weeks of post-release support for participants with immediate transition needs that can be addressed through brief, targeted interventions.
  • Extended reintegration stream: up to 12 months of post-release support for participants with more complex needs, requiring a longer period of post-release support.

This support starts before a person leaves prison. ReConnect uses a throughcare approach – understanding that successful transition support begins in custody and continues into the community. Participants start ReConnect six weeks prior to release, and meet their ReConnect case manager face-to-face before leaving prison.


VACRO’s role

Our approach to delivering ReConnect is driven by each participant’s individual transitional needs, their preferred approach, the circumstances in their community, and their relationship with their case manager. Everyone’s needs are different, and our support reflects this.

ReConnect is a critical step in Corrections Victoria’s state-wide transition pathway towards life after prison. It’s delivered by geographical region, to highlight the importance of regional support, and to maximise people’s connections with their local support services.

VACRO delivers ReConnect in two areas of Victoria:

  • Barwon South West: covering Geelong and surrounds, Colac, Warrnambool and Portland; and
  • Grampians: covering Horsham, Ararat, Ballarat and Bacchus Marsh.

We work with other community organisations to deliver ReConnect across Victoria. Corrections Victoria’s post-release services page provides information about accessing ReConnect in other areas of Victoria. You’re welcome to contact us if you’re not sure of the support available in your area.


More information

Why ReConnect

Transition support is a lifeline for people in the challenging time immediately after release from prison.

Eligibility

To be eligible for ReConnect a person must have a sentence of over three months, and be recommended for post-release support through the ReLink program. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants, all female participants, all participants sentenced to a CCO-Imprisonment Order and all high-needs serious violent and sex offenders with sentences of more than three months are eligible for ReConnect.

Referrals

Referrals to ReConnect are made by prison assessment staff to VACRO’s ReConnect team. 

Resources

Corrections Victoria Reintegration Pathway

Support

ReConnect is funded by the Department of Justice and Community Safety through Corrections Victoria.