Engaging First Nations Australians in correctional treatment: The perspectives of program recipients and facilitators

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Abstract

Developing and delivering effective rehabilitation programs that meet the specific needs of First Nations people and overcome barriers to engagement has been suggested as a way to address the overrepresentation of First Nations Australians in the correctional system. This project used a critical realist epistemology to understand perceptions of First Nations people participating in rehabilitation programs to contribute to improvements in treatment responsivity. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five First Nations people serving community-based orders and five First Nations Program Facilitators. The data were analyzed thematically. Four overarching themes emerged: (a) the importance of culture and colonization, (b) intrinsic motivation to change, (c) communication and language: the role of the First Nations facilitator, and (d) connection: life after jail. These findings highlight the need for cultural healing as a crucial factor for programs aimed at First Nations Australians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-42
Number of pages19
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Volume51
Issue number1
Early online date30 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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