Jacob* is a young Indigenous man living with multiple intellectual disabilities. He began to engage in substance abuse as a child and became heavily dependent on daily use. When Jacob was a teenager, he and his peers started doing crime and as a young man he was convicted and sentenced to 12 months in prison. While incarcerated, Jacob’s complex needs were recognised and in the final three months of his sentence he was referred to Outcare’s Community Inclusion program.
The Community Inclusion program supports people with disability and mental health issues who are at risk in the community, in prison or after release from prison. Case Workers offer community in home support, accommodation, daily living skills, access to education and skill development. At first Jacob was reluctant to engage with the program, however, his Case Worker continued to offer him assistance and act as an advocate for his support. When Jacob became more willing to be involved in the program, he has taken significant steps forward to redirect his life.
Following his release from prison, Jacob’s Case Worker linked him with counselling services and support groups where he developed skills to manage his addiction. Substance abuse had caused serious health problems for Jacob and his Case Worker provided him with the health care he needed in addition to daily home visits to address criminal behaviours. After working closely with Outcare for several years, Jacob now lives drug and crime free and has recently had a child with his partner. He is a proud first time Dad who has been attending parenting classes. Jacob’s involvement in the Community Inclusion program deterred his criminal behaviours, addressed addiction issues and connected him with the relevant supports to better manage his disability.
*Name has been changed for personal reasons