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Reflecting on your Service Practice

When reflecting on individual worker and service practice in relation to criminal justice clients, the following points may be useful to consider in making your service accessible.


Individual workers should consider:

  • What skills and training do you need that would help you work with this target group?
  • What resources could you access that would help you?
  • What guidance from fellow workers is available to help you?
  • Do you feel comfortable working with ex-prisoners? If not, what would help you to change this?

Organisations should consider:

  • Do assessment and intake process exclude ex-prisoners according to certain criteria?
    (eg. identification requirements, violent history, length of time in jail, criminal record, coming directly to your service on release). See Use of Criminal Record for more information.
  • Do assessment and intake process exclude ex-prisoners according to specific offences?
  • Including specific offence related questions on your service's referral form can be an effective way of capturing the information, without the expense and time required to access a full criminal record history. See Use of Criminal Record for sample referral form.
  • Does your organisation understand the issues workers face every day when working with criminal justice clients?
  • Do staff have input into the development of policies and procedures and the direct work of the organisation?
  • How could you go about creating change in your organisation to better assist this client group? Who would you need to talk to? Who could support you?
  • Does your service require additional training or support in working with this client group?
    See No Bars Training Options for more information.

Would you like assistance in reviewing your service policies and procedures?

  • The No Bars Change Management Training Package The No Bars Training Package offers NADA member services a FREE facilitator led change management opportunity. For more information on the No Bars Training Packages or click here or contact CRC or NADA.
  • The NADA Policy Toolkit is a resource designed to guide non government drug and alcohol services to develop and review operational policy documents and support their formal quality improvement program. The resource provides practical policy development templates related to governance and leadership, administration and support, and service delivery. Whilst the toolkit does not replace the need for an organisation to develop policies, it will assist in developing and reviewing policies and in an organisation's quality improvement program. Policy templates that may be of relevance are:
    • Client Intake and assessment Policy Template
    • Client Diversity Policy Template
    • Occupational Health and Safety Policy Template

For more information on the NADA Policy Toolkit contact Robert or Tanya at NADA.



"Seize the moment. This is your teachable moment. It may be the only time this person steps inside a treatment service. No matter what the motivation you have a golden opportunity to positively assist a person."

Astrid Birgden, Director of the Compulsory Drug Treatment Program, Corrective Services NSW