Weave’s Creating Futures is an intensive support service for young people aged 18-30 years leaving custody or otherwise involved in the criminal justice system. It provides wraparound casework tailored to the needs and goals of each client, as well as court support and advocacy. The evaluation of Creating Futures shows that the program successfully uses an Aboriginal Healing Framework to support clients, providing a service which is trauma informed, strengths-based, culturally safe and client-led. The program draws integrity from being housed within Weave, being an organisation with deep roots in community. The long association of many Creating Futures clients with Weave services allows trust relationships to be more quickly established with caseworkers. Creating Futures connects clients to culture and community in ways that are both strengthening to their personal identity, and which provide a protective factor against re-offending.
The evaluation also shows that the recidivism figures for Creating Futures clients compare very favourably with the recidivism rates of Aboriginal people of the same age range in NSW. BOCSAR data shows that in 2017, 57.3% of Aboriginal people aged 18-30 reoffended within 12 months of being released from custody. The average rate of reoffending among Creating Futures clients across the evaluation period was 4.11%. While these figures are descriptive only (due to the absence of relevant control factors in the comparison group), they are still compelling. Of clients who did reoffend, the offences were often more minor compared with their previous history of contact with the criminal justice system.
In the view of stakeholders, involvement in Creating Futures also improved client outcomes in bail, sentencing and other legal matters by facilitating better relationships with lawyers; better experiences of legal service provision for clients; and procured better justice outcomes for clients by assisting lawyers with various tasks associated with the legal process.
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