The Western Research Institute (WRI) evaluated the outcomes of Barnardos’ Beyond Barbed Wire Program from 2013 to the present, to determine a positive contribution from the program in economic and social terms.
Beyond Barbed Wire offers a suite of support services for women and children, most of whom are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI), who are returning home following release from custody.
WRI assessed the program’s outcomes by considering reoffending or recidivism rates, reductions in interactions across the criminal justice system and the impacts from the program’s support services that build parenting, social and vocational skills.
“Participants in the Beyond Barbed Wire program had an incredibly low recidivism rate of 7%. Comparing this to the Australian rate of 42.9% for women who re-offend and 66% of ATSI women who re-offend illustrates the strength of the Beyond Barbed Wire outcomes.” WRI’s CEO Kathy Woolley said.
Other benefits include improved parenting skills with 95% of participants saying they could see improvements in their relationships with their children. Additionally costs savings were identified in the health, welfare and justice systems.
“The results of a Benefit/Cost analysis indicated that for every dollar spent in the Beyond Barbed Wire program, more than two dollars of benefit is returned to the communities where the program is delivered” Ms Woolley said.
WRI estimated the economic net present value of expanding the Beyond Barbed Wire program to be $1.38M over a 10-year period.
The Barnardos Beyond Barbed Wire WRI Evaluation Report will be officially launched on Thursday 3 May, by Andrew Gee MP, the Federal Member for Calare.
WRI: Kathy Woolley – 6333 4000
Barnardos Australia: Jodi Burnstein - 0427 013 114
Photo source: http://www.barnardos.org.au/our-centres/western-nsw/beyond-barbed-wire/