2018 ACEA Forums – Perth and Melbourne

A Note From the Chairperson – Raymond Chavez

In 2018 ACEA was fortunate to have three very experienced and professional presenters to deliver their presentations at the two Forums ACEA organised in Perth and in Melbourne.

In Perth, Margaret Giles from Edith Cowan University delivered a presentation on the three year Future Beyond the Wall research project. The Project reviewed prison education programs and pre and post release support services provided to exiting and released prisoners.

In Melbourne, Lesley Hardcastle provided the participants with a presentation on the Future Beyond the Wall which, while discussing the Project comprehensively discussed in more detail, the more qualitative aspects of the programming being delivered by the different States and Territories.

Beth Drake from Washington State Institute of Public Policy provided the participants in Perth and Melbourne with a comprehensive review of her studies of what exactly was being provided and was effectively being used within prisons. From her analysis of the data and her review of the programs, Beth was able to provide us with what we might want to be considering when we were assessing what to provide to our prisoners going forward.

As correctional educators we are left to answer the query of what exactly comprises and defines a successful prisoner education program.

While each State and Territory generally provides a similar education and training program (some ABE, VET, Tertiary..)…and they must use the same national VET curriculum, standards and guidelines- the difference between jurisdictions revolves around … who delivers the VET units of competency; the location/venue of the VET training delivery; how the VET training is provided; how much access do students have to education and support staff….of course the definition of success can vary from prisoner to prisoner…those who are products of families plagued with intergenerational crime vs. those who had education but strayed from the path.


You can see Beth, Margret and Lesley’s presentations on the links below.


Elizabeth Drake – A path towards criminal justice reform

Lesley Hardcastle – Improving post-release employment outcomes for people leaving prison

Margaret Giles – Improving post-release employment outcomes for people leaving prison