A new service to strengthen family ties and improve wellbeing has been launched to support prisoners and their families in Tasmania. Source: Hobart Archdiocese.
The Francis Project, self-funded by CatholicCare Tasmania, assists prisoners to strengthen their relationships with their children and build positive connections with their families and communities.
Hobart Reception Prison family worker Trish said The Francis Project was an important program to support the vulnerable and marginalised in society, particularly children and families within the prison system.
“Research has shown that children and their families affected by a loved one’s offending have been described as the ‘forgotten victims’ of the criminal justice system,” she explained.
“This ‘hidden’ or ‘invisible’ group are disadvantaged and marginalised at the outset and when you add the stigma and shame within the broader community the impact on them is immense. The Francis Project recognises this impact and aims to accomplish the best positive outcomes for the prisoners and their families.”
The Francis Project supports prisoners with sentences of less than six months with a throughcare component upon release into the community. It also supports prisoners on remand, and provides family engagement services for prisoners and their children. Risdon Prison Complex practice leader and family worker Amanda said while the program was still in its infancy, it was being well received.
CatholicCare Chief Executive Andrew Hill said the Francis Project was a response to Pope Francis’ call for greater efforts to support prisoners and their families.
The Francis Project (Hobart Archdiocese)