Rediscovering hope

The treatment of prisoners during and after their imprisonment will be the focus of a forum hosted by Traralgon’s Eleanor Krieger next Friday.

After becoming involved with mental health advocacy group Barrier Breakers, Ms Krieger decided to delve into the subject further and went on to study community services.

Through Barrier Breakers, Ms Krieger met Andrew Fraser, a former prisoner at Fulham Correctional Centre who now strives to address issues surrounding imprisonment including parole, re-integration into society and the minimal education that offenders are subjected to.

Before his incarceration, Mr Fraser was a high profile lawyer who defended Alan Bond, the Moran family and Dennis Allan.

Mr Fraser succumbed to a cocaine addiction and was later linked to its importation, resulting in five years imprisonment.

“Andrew beat his drug addiction, served his time and now strives to improve the public awareness of just how debilitating the prison system and drugs can be to offenders, especially young offenders,” Ms Krieger said.

A support speaker at the forum will be Toongabbie resident and specialist alcohol and drug addiction nurse Teresa Coleman who until recently supported young offenders within the United Kingdom’s justice system.

“For anyone involved in the intricate world of community services support, or those simply interested in the fabric of our society, this presentation should provide answers and raise questions about how we live and work in our modern society,” Ms Krieger said.

Titled the Key Forum, Ms Krieger said its name represented what she believed was the key to prisoner rehabilitation – helping them find their spirit again and giving them hope.

The forum will run from 7pm on Friday, 5 December at Federation Training auditorium, 48 Main Street, Bairnsdale.

Tickets are priced at $25 and can be purchased from Eleanor Krieger by phoning 0412 766 340.

Entry includes supper, a raffle ticket and a gift bag. All proceeds from the forum will go towards Barrier Breakers.