For some people, such as Simon, being released from prison can be a challenging and uncertain time.  

In the months leading up to his release, Simon was thinking about what life would look like on the other side of the gate. He knew he needed a fresh start, but he wasn’t sure how to go about it.

While Simon was at Marngoneet Correctional Centre, he signed up for the Time to Work Employment Service (TWES) program. TWES is a national, in-prison employment service for adult, sentenced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prison. Participation in TWES is voluntary.

After his first meeting with our TWES Engagement Worker via video conference, Simon believed that getting involved in the program was his lifeline to a better future. However, the path wasn’t so straightforward for Simon.

A move between facilities could have made it challenging for our Engagement Worker to connect with Simon. Thanks to the Engagement Worker’s commitment to Simon’s reintegration, and strong working relationships with staff at the correctional facilities and Prison Records Central, the two reconnected in no time.

While Simon completed his sentence at Dhurringile Prison, he and our Engagement Worker were able to meet in person. Simon reflects on this time, saying that the TWES program provided him with practical guidance as well as the emotional support he needed to settle into Dhurringile. It was through these interactions with our Engagement Worker that he began to feel comfortable about preparing for his release, and more confident about his new life ahead.

In those final months at Dhurringile, Simon and our Engagement Worker completed a transition plan. He said that the initial video meeting with our Engagement Worker was pivotal to his successful reintegration. 

Having completed his sentence, Simon is now on the other side of the prison gate. As a result of going through the TWES program, he has found work, made friends in the community, and slowly but steadily rebuilt his life. The support from Vacro and the TWES program have helped him create his chance for a new beginning.

Learn more about the TWES program.