A growing number of crime victims are looking for participation in our justice system. Sycamore Voices brings you the stories of those who have taken the bold step of meeting with convicted criminals to explain the consequences of crime.
You may have seen the Sycamore Tree Project featured on ABC-TV programs like Australian Story. It is highly regarded by crime victims, inmates and officials. Not just here but in many countries around the world. Crime victims find this program so helpful, they come back for more!
- It takes place over eight weeks, in a local prison.
- Five crime victims with a group of unconnected offenders
- Currently run in over 20 countries
- A caring, inclusive atmosphere to discuss the consequences of crime
- Endeavours to bring a degree of healing to all participants.
- Derives from the bible story of Zaccheus in Luke 19:1-10.
Almost one third of Aussies have been victims of some kind of crime. Chances are, you know a few. Here is a program designed to give them a chance to tell their story and help them find closure.
Here’s what people are saying after they experience the 8 week journey:
“It was the best feeling knowing I’ve changed a negative into a positive”.
“There are so many people that have been victims of crime that need to do this”
“I saw tears and visible signs of sorrow. They had got to know us and they empathised with us and we with them”
I’ve done a lot of courses dealing with grief but this is by far the best I’ve done”.
I felt that inmates weren’t aware of the ripple effect of crime and how it affects friends and family as well. This was a way of helping them realise their mistakes
“An inmate I was speaking with, realised what he had done had really hurt his victim and not only that but also his whole family too.”
“Listening to other people’s stories helped with things and made me get back to feeling human again”
“Before I spoke about what happened to me I hadn’t really spoken about it much before but now that I’ve opened up completely about it I feel a lot less stressed and I feel I can actually move on a lot better than I used to.”
“It was nice to see they had remorse and empathy, genuine empathy that you could see.”
“When you go through a crime like mine you can’t just keep it in. You have to talk to people. I can’t afford to see Psychologists and things like that so I thought the program would be a good opportunity to voice what happened to me”
“I wanted to voice the opinions of victims of crime to inmates. I wanted to make them aware of the damage that’s been done to families because of their crime.”
“It gave me a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that I was making the inmates aware of the impact of their crime and the issues that we as victims face when dealing with these circumstances. It was a real positive thing”.
THE SYCAMORE TREE PROJECT IS AN OFFICIAL PROGRAM OF PRISON FELLOWSHIP AUSTRALIA