Serco Australia has been Highly Commended at the 2019 Corporate Entrepreneur Awards hosted by Deloitte Digital, celebrating business innovation and the individuals and teams behind it.
The commendation in the Greater Good award recognises the innovative work of Serco’s Alternative Justice team on the Home Strait initiative - a purpose-designed residential alternative to custodial remand that seeks to support and serve a previously neglected group of people. The evidence-based initiative aims to provide at-risk Australians with dual therapy and holistic life essentials to increase their chances of going on to lead productive, positive and crime-free futures.
Designed with an Aboriginal-focused framework, Home Strait aims to benefit all individuals, communities and government departments and was co-designed with the community, the target group themselves, and their respective elders.
It is currently in a co-development phase with NSW Government for implementation in that state and has been discussed in other jurisdictions as a way to reduce reoffending in communities.
Serco Director of Alternative Justice, Lana Sandas said the initiative, once implemented and scaled, can ignite systemic change. “Recidivism rates across the country are too high and continue to rise. We recognised the need to develop and implement community-based alternatives to custodial remand,” she said.
“Too often custodial remand is required because there are limited alternatives, particularly in relation to approving bail for low-level offenders who struggle to provide the court with a suitable address. This has meant that a refusal of bail is often less about the nature of the alleged offence, and more about the likelihood of reoffending due to being homeless or lacking in support. We see Home Strait as a way to challenge the status quo.”
The NSW Premier and Government have a target of reducing reoffending rates by 5% - a difficult target to achieve with limited options outside custodial remand and sentencing. This is where Home Strait offers a new approach where the real customers are those who have historically fallen through the cracks.
Mark Irwin, Serco ASPAC CEO said Serco’s motivation was to develop solutions and services that can help achieve their targeted outcomes.
“By establishing a team that is personally, professionally and commercially motivated, we have identified, developed and delivered value for in the community in the form of Home Strait,” he said.
“Home Strait has contributed to a meaningful conversation with government and the community to truly address recidivism across our community. By proactively addressing underlying issues, we have challenged conventional practices and see a new way of doing things that will produce benefits, not only for individuals, but also the wider community,” Mark said.
For more information on the awards visit: https://www.deloittedigital.com.au/CEA/
Image: Lana Sandas, Serco Director of Alternative Justice (centre) with the Serco team.
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