Former prisoner goes back to jail for charity

A former prisoner is once again sitting in a jail cell and this time calling a bail bondsman won’t do any good. Glenn Broom, an ex-offender who has beaten all odds by reforming himself, now actively works as a social worker and has voluntarily placed himself in a makeshift cell located in the middle of Federation Square in order to raise awareness about children in the juvenile justice system with the goal of raising a total of 50,000 with plans to donate the funds collected to the White Lion Organization, a charity that is dedicated to providing counseling services to young members of the community who are at risk of one day becoming offenders themselves. Broom had once spent time in a penitentiary when he was an adolescent and hopes to make a difference in the community through volunteer work and speaking out about his own experience to others.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a total of 17,972 youth offenders were reported in the years of 2018-2019 however, these numbers have been beginning to steadily decline by 7-10% and there has begun to be an overall reduction of crime in Australia as a whole. Charities such as the White Lion Organization have played vital roles in this decline by providing early intervention to the youth population which reduces the risks of them becoming offenders as adults.

However, on the flip side, Australia has become tougher on crime and has begun incarcerating more people for longer periods of time. First Step Australia, which was introduced in February 2020, outlines a plan to reduce criminal recidivism through a variety of methods including mentoring, improved work and educational opportunities, transportation access, bonding, and insurance. While being an ex-offender tends to come with a negative stigma attached, Glenn Broom is a prime example that it is possible for a former criminal to change their ways and become a productive member of society.

Through the use of both preventative and reform programs, coupled with inspirational people such as Broom, it’s possible to make a positive impact on communities in Australia and further reduce the rate of crime, but change doesn’t just lie within the hands of charities and good Samaritans. Change begins at home, school, work, and in the hearts of the people of Australia. If you are a parent or teacher, spend quality time with children and help them to succeed in life. If you are a business owner, give an ex-con or a high school dropout a chance at employment. Working together can lead to a positive change throughout Australia.

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