Clean Slate Prison Project

Project Rationale

Clean Slate is an innovative service to assist people in prison to deal with their debts and fines.  The aim of this project is to implement a commonsense idea in an innovative way to help reduce the revolving prison door.

Clean Slate is innovative because of its bulk approach to addressing debts efficiently and effectively through negotiations with creditors. In relation to infringements, Clean Slate supports clients to access the Deemed Served Program which allows prisoners to serve out infringement warrants while they are in custody. 

We conduct tailored information sessions with prisoners (in both English and Vietnamese) and gather information from attendees about their debts and fines.  We then collate this information to negotiate with companies to whom debts are owed, with a view to having the debts written off on account of the clients’ personal circumstances.  We work with the relevant prison program staff to ensure any outstanding fines can be served concurrently with the current sentence.   

Ultimately, we aim to resolve clients’ outstanding debts and infringement warrants while they are imprisoned so that they have a ‘clean slate’ when they are released.  This in turn will relieve pressure on clients and their families on release, and will assist with integration back into the community.

Project Status

BMCLC is currently working with the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and the Langi Kal Kal prison on Phase Two of the project.  This follows a successful pilot in 2015, run for 122 women in the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, which resulted in the waiver of more than $200,000 in debts with a range of creditors.

Download: Pilot Project Report