A program is helping people get back on track

A NEW Court program is helping deliver big and small changes for south-west people in an effort to reduce re-offending in the community.

The Court Integrated Services Program (CISP) was introduced in Warrnambool in May last year and is available for people on bail, have charges pending or are on summons.

The goal is to reduce the likelihood of accused people re-offending.

SUPPORT: Court Integrated Services Program case worker Kerrie Neave with team leader Emma Kennedy work to support accused people get their lives back on track. Picture: Rob Gunstone

SUPPORT: Court Integrated Services Program case worker Kerrie Neave with team leader Emma Kennedy work to support accused people get their lives back on track. Picture: Rob Gunstone

CISP case manager Kerrie Neave said the work was rewarding but it could also be difficult to build a relationship with clients. 

“For a lot of reasons it can be challenging,” she said.

“It can be challenging building rapport. Sometimes people might have a lapse and use substances again and they think they better not come back because they’ll get into trouble.

“But it’s about expressing to them that’s not necessarily the end of the program but blip in the road. One of the greatest changes I see is a person’s insight into what is going on, sometimes they come into the program with very little insight and there’s that external blame. Often part way through you’ll see some insight and ‘maybe it was my behaviour.’

“When they close with the program, part of the case managers role is to make sure they’re engaged in other services, so if they come on board wanting to address drug and alcohol and mental health part of my role as a case manager is to make sure that that engagement continues so that they’ve got the support around them.”

Barwon South West region court support services team leader Emma Kennedy said if a person was successfully placed on the program they were then allocated a case manager. She said the length of the program was four months and during that time a treatment plan was developed with the client.

“The case manager works with them on whatever their support needs are,” she said. 

“So that could be things like forensic drug and alcohol treatment, it could be making linkages to crisis accommodation services assisting them with getting mental health support (and) assisting people with acquired brain injuries...”

For more information contact Warrnambool Magistrates Court on 5564 1110.