At Second Chances SA, we are a Christian organisation dedicated to people affected by crime and doing all we can to help people have a fresh start and a new future.
We do this by working with prisoners and their families, showing them that there is another option, that they can have a crime free life.
Our model of support is designed with a holistic outlook; we have positioned ourselves within the prisons, reached out to the families, work closely with government departments and engage the community to foster understanding.
When someone commits a crime, they should have to pay the price for that crime. Do the crime, do the time.
But what happens when a prisoner is released from prison? When they have done their time even the toughest can find the transition challenging.
However, all too often, prisoners can’t see the possibility of a life away from crime. This process starts long before the prisoner is released. This is why we have volunteers that meet the prisoner where they are at, in prison, to offer them help and hope.
At Second Chances SA, we believe that people can change, and when someone decides that they want to change, they should be given support to turn their life around.
Our In-prison Volunteers visit regularly in prisons across the state, including the Adelaide Remand Centre, Yatala Labour Prison, Adelaide Pre-Release Centre, Mobilong Prison and Port Lincoln Prison. They offer them help with property storage, banking and other things that they can’t do while they are inside. They also offer them friendship and encourage them to make the decision to turn their life around.
The families of prisoners are greatly affected mentally, socially and materially by the imprisonment of a loved one. Facing a loss of income and social isolation, the families of prisoners can suffer in many ways, often not knowing where to turn and worrying about what will happen. They can also suffer from the shame and stigma of having a loved one locked up, they too can feel like the criminals.
Our PK Family Care Team is devoted to helping the spouses and children, offering them support and advocacy. When they don’t know where else to look for help they know that they can call us.
The children of prisoners, or PK’s (Prisoners’ Kids) are the forgotten and innocent victims of crime, they too end up serving a sentence. Every child of a prisoner faces a different situation, sometimes they still have a parent to look after them, but other times they end up with grandparents or in state care. Wherever they end up, they are certainly facing change, and feeling hurt or confused.
Research suggests that these children are up to seven times more likely to end in prison later in life than their peers. They are more likely to have been abused and are at high risk of antisocial behaviour. These kids feel abandoned, isolated and have difficulty trusting people.
Through our In-Prison Volunteers we are able to find these children on request of their incarcerated parents. Once we know who they are we can reach out to them through our PK Family Care Team, who can offer them home visits and support. Then, through our programs like Christmas Angels, PK Mentoring Camps and PK Birthdays they not only feel loved and remembered on special occasions, but they also have the opportunity to learn and grow with mentors.
At Second Chances SA, we believe that the community has a role to play in the restoration of prisoners back into society. We understand it is a sensitive topic for many, however, in order to have a safer and more effective community, rehabilitation needs to be a priority.
The health of a community relies heavily on the health of it’s prison system. Millions of our tax dollars are invested into the justice system that sees many reoffend because of lack of support. Investing into programs that encourage rehabilitation and restoration into the community not only saves money, but makes our society a safer place to live.
At Second Chances SA, we believe the road to effective and lasting change comes from a common understanding and desire for change between the community and government. We work in many ways to highlight the need for social change, working closely with government departments and community groups, paving a way for greater understanding and effective programs.