Samaritans is ‘locking up’ the Hunter region’s corporates and willing community members at Maitland Gaol on Friday, 14 October 2016 to raise funds for its local services.
At the Lock Up & Sleep In event registered participants are invited to come for dinner or, for the bold and brave, get sponsored to stay overnight in a cell in one of Australia’s most notorious prisons – the old Maitland Gaol.
Scott Puxty, Partner from Cantle Carmichael Legal, is supporting Samaritans by taking on the challenge to stay overnight in the Gaol.
“Samaritans provides such wonderful services in our community and our team is keen to support this exciting event for a worthy cause,” Scott said. “I can’t say I’m looking forward to sleeping in one of the most haunted places in the country, but it will certainly be an experience to remember!”
Samaritans Post Release is one of the services provided, which has supported hundreds of locals to get their lives on track after leaving prison.
“Each year, 200 people return to Newcastle from prison with little or no support to reintegrate into the community. Samaritans Friendship House and Home for Good programs together support those returning from correctional facilities, encouraging them to stay out to the prison system, and not return to crime,” Samaritans CEO, Peter Gardiner, said.
The cost to the community is almost $100,000 a year to house one person in prison and Samaritans prison-release programs run on the generosity of the Newcastle community, and save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from the cost of imprisonment.
“The chance of someone re-offending when supported by one of our programs is reduced to almost 10% – an impressive difference from the state average of 60%,” Peter said.
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Samaritans is a regional welfare agency providing disability services, disability care, youth, family, mental health and community support in Newcastle and several regions of NSW.