Paradigms for Rehabilitation in Australia and the Sydney Desistance Project

Published 18/06/2014
Type Article
Author(s) Kevin O’Sullivan
Corresponding Authors Kevin O’Sullivan, School of Psychology, University of New South Wales

In this paper I reflect on the extent to which Australian jurisdictions have used various theoretical paradigms to inform their rehabilitative practice in recent years and I explore reasons why one approach appears more extensively used than others. In doing so I draw on my experience as Director of Offender Programs in New South Wales between 2004 and 2013. To describe the Australian context, I briefly outline the current Australian criminal justice system and describe how prison and community supervision services are organised. Each theoretical approach to rehabilitation programs is discussed and I then describe the Sydney Desistance Project, an attempt to redress the balance and stimulate work in a relatively neglected area.