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Serco Alternative Justice: Challenging conventional practices to reduce reoffending and remove barriers for disadvantaged communities

We were highly commended in the ‘Greater Good’ category of the 2019 Corporate Entrepreneur Awards in Australia for the innovative work of our new Alternative Justice team.

Alternative Justice is a practice developed by Serco Asia Pacific for the design and implementation of alternative reform and rehabilitation solutions. In partnership with specialist community-based service providers, we are looking to provide marginalised and vulnerable citizens with proactive early interventions that will not only divert them from prison and reduce their likelihood of reoffending, but holistically and sustainably improve their overall quality of life.

Specifically, the team were recognised for the ‘Home Strait’ initiative – a purpose-designed residential alternative to custodial remand that aims to offer at-risk indigenous Australians dual therapy and holistic life essentials to increase their chances of productive, positive and crime-free futures.

Lana Sandas, Serco Alternative Justice Director, said, “For Serco, Alternative Justice is a radically different way of looking at how to help people by working with them, as well as those around them, to address the underlying causes of offending.” Regarding Home Strait, she explained, “Recidivism rates are too high. We recognised the need to develop and implement community-based alternatives to custodial remand, which is too often required because there are limited alternatives. Home Strait offers a new approach where the real customers are those who have historically fallen through the cracks.”

Serco Alternative Justice is also involved in designing and delivering Momentum, a programme that aims to improve employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by removing barriers to obtaining birth registration, birth certificates and driver licences and accessing training and employment opportunities.

“By establishing a team of people who are personally, professionally and commercially motivated to proactively address the underlying issues,” said Mark Irwin, Chief Executive of Serco Asia Pacific, “we are challenging conventional practices and identifying new ways of doing things that will produce benefits both for individuals and the wider community.”