While serving a long sentence, and multiple incarcerations in his past, Robert was frustrated and uncertain about his future. It was at this point Robert became involved in our ReLink program.

It took some time, but eventually Robert began to trust the ReLink Reintegration Coordinator. Robert accepted he would complete his full sentence in custody, and with the support of the Coordinator, Robert slowly started to envision a brighter future, beyond prison.

One of the most significant steps Robert took while in the ReLink Program was to identity priorities for this future: attending to his mental health, and relationships with his family and long-term partner. Participating in the ReLink Program helped him to acknowledge these priorities and gave him the tools to address them.

Robert made great progress. Robert revealed he had a history of trauma, having witnessed several tragic incidents, including his brother’s suicide. So that this part of his past would not hold him back in the future, Robert proactively arranged for an appointment with his GP upon his release, to develop a mental health plan.  Realising that he missed having the opportunity to be a positive role model to his children and grandchildren, Robert was determined to reestablish relationships with his family, including his sister and children, because he didn’t want to miss any more important family events.

As his release date neared, Robert was supported to develop his transition plan. Here, he expressed his concern about his living arrangements with his family - he needed to know if his mother would allow him to live at the family home. 

This is where a member of our ReConnect team became involved in Robert's transition back into the community. The ReConnect coordinator helped to ensure Robert had a two-night stay at a motel, providing the time and space for crucial conversations with his family around his ongoing living arrangements. With immediate accommodation organised, the ReConnect coordinator arranged for material aid to be waiting for Robert when he checked into the motel, and then helped him apply for the disability support pension. 

Robert has come a long way since he first connected with our ReLink team. Of course, there are still changes to be made. But Robert is on the path to rebuilding his life and becoming a positive force in the lives of his family members. Robert's commitment to addressing his mental health, remaining drug-free, and being a part of his family again show how new beginnings are possible.

When the day came that Robert was to be released from prison, he declined ReConnect's offer of transport. Robert's relationship with his family was improving; it was one of his children who collected him that day. Together, taking steps toward a new beginning. 

Learn more about ReLink.