They say clothes maketh the man and leaving prison in a new outfit can ensure inmates get their best start.
The Blacktown Ponds Lions Club recognised this when they received clothing from non-profit Good360 Australia and were looking for a worthy cause to donate them to.
Understanding the importance of a fresh start when leaving prison, former Parklea Correctional Centre nurse and Blacktown Ponds Lions Club member Sharon Whiteis suggested inmates would appreciate new clothes.
“I’ve seen men leave here at the train station and at the bus stop in their prison greens and they get judged immediately and struggle right off the bat,” Mrs Whiteis said.
“You need to give them a good start and they need a chance, so they have hope of success when they get out.
“Having a new set of clothes will help them achieve that when reintroducing them to life on the outside.”
Acting Parklea Governor Sarah Mallender said she was pleased the Blacktown Ponds Lions Club didn’t hesitate to donate the new clothes to the prison’s inmates when Mrs Whiteis suggested it.
“One of our key values at Parklea is to treat inmates with decency and respect, so ensuring they are released into the community with appropriate clothing continues that ethos of decency and respect,” Ms Mallender said.
“Inmates often leave prison with the clothes they arrived in, but they might be old or the wrong season.
“This donation will make a significant difference to inmates when they are released back into the community.
“We have also received donations from Thread Together, but we are never short of inmates needing clothing.
“We’re so pleased the Blacktown Ponds Lions Club have chosen us to be the recipients of the new clothes and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Sydney District 201N5 Vice Governor and Blacktown Ponds Lions Club Charter President Paul McInnes said the organisation was always happy to help anyone in need.
“Lions Club International was formed in 1917 and its motto is “We serve”,” Mr McInnes said.
“Blacktown Ponds Lions Club is very pleased we have been given the opportunity to help these men start their new lives.
“Since receiving our charter from Lions International in March 2016, we have made donations of more than $600,000 to various charities and government institutions.
“Another $750,000 has been donated in goods and services.
“Our partnership with Good360 Australia has greatly enhanced our ability to help those in need.
“We look forward to being able to work with Parklea Correctional Centre in other ways in the future.”
Parklea Correctional Centre is operated by MTC Australia on behalf of Corrective Services NSW.