What We Do

OUR PROGRAMS

Since 1946, Prison Network Ministries has enjoyed unique access to Victorian women’s prisons as a trusted and dependable provider of programs and services.  Today, Prison Network delivers up to 12 programs EVERY WEEK inside the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre (Ravenhall) and Tarrengower Prison (Maldon)

Mainstream, Protection and Mental Health units:

Dame Phyllis Frost Centre:

    • Recreational programs including: Sport, Fitness, Game On Day, Vocal Group, Dance, Craft & Cooking
    • Life Skills including: Talk it Out & Zone Out. These programs have had a particular impact on the women in Protection.
    • Fun with Mum: every second week, we provide activities around particular themes, (such as a mobile animal farm) for mothers and children during visits – often transporting children to visits as well.
    • Discussion Group & Sunday Live

    The programs are designed to:

    • develop confidence and self esteem;
    • encourage creativity and self expression through dance, craft, singing;
    • build long term support networks through and with our trained social workers, mentors and volunteers;
    • teach strategies designed to deal with negative emotion by creating a space for self-reflection;
    • enhance relationships between mothers, children and their extended families.

     

Remand unit:

Arriving in remand can be a terribly devastating and lonely time.  We provide women an opportunity to connect informally with a trained worker who listens, comforts and refers women to specialist support services, attends Court and provides support for whatever they may be facing.

Work:

For some women unable to participate in regular paid prison work (such as those with a disability or those in Protection), we provide them with an opportunity to undertake paid work as part of the prison’s cottage industry. For many years, we have been working with these women to produce high quality greeting cards which are sold outside the prison, in the community, with all profits going back towards our work.

Tarrengower Prison:

  • Recreational:  Craft & Cooking (fortnightly)
  • Christian Discussion Group

Outside the Prisons:

PNM supports women in their transition to a life outside prison that is different to the life they left when imprisoned. We are the bridge between prison and life outside, providing:

  • ongoing life changing emotional and other support to women and their families;
  • mentoring women in the life skills required to rebuild life;
  • assisting women by referring them to appropriate agencies and professionals;
  • attending court;
  • assisting in children attending school, uniforms, enrolment, books;

Court appearances are often daunting and frightening. We also support women by accompanying them to court and providing support as appropriate.

Housing Support program:

We provide an assisted transitional accommodation for women exiting prison. Women staying at our 2-bedroom unit welcome the support in the transition to a new life from prison.

Families:

We offer the families of women in prison relational & practical support by providing referrals to appropriate agencies and services and offer to help them negotiate the difficulties presented by incarceration.

Children Camps:

We transport and sponsor registrations for a number of children to attend school holiday camps.  These camps can be the only place for some children of prisoners to find peace, encouragement and love.