The future of prisons beyond the pandemic
Women’s experiences in the criminal justice system
By Zahra Stardust, August 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has spun the justice sector into disarray, demanding that we find new ways to organise society. As women in prison mobilise to support one another through the pandemic, their stories demonstrate that prisons never worked, but that there are viable alternatives. Despite its loss of funding and program restrictions, the Women’s Justice Network shows why we need action now more than ever.
Women’s Justice Network would like to thank Zahra Stardust, one of our mentors, for writing the following candid article. It captures the impact of COVID-19 and challenges our thinking of the future of prisons.
Impact COVID on Domestic and Family Violence Workforce and Clients
Submission to the Australian Parliament Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs inquiry into and report on family, domestic and family violence.
Authors: Kerry Carrington, Christine Morley, Bridget Harris, Laura Vitis, Matthew Ball, Jo Clarke, Shane Warren
Queensland University of Technology, Centre for Justice, July 2020
The User Voice of Lockdown
User Voice published their report The User Voice of Lockdown in the UK about the experience of people in prison and on probation during lockdown, They spoke with 2,206 people since lockdown started – 747 people in 14 prisons and 1,459 people on probation in 13 areas. July 2020
Women’s imprisonment and domestic, family and sexual violence
This paper contexualises Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety’s (ANROWS’s) research on the close links between imprisonment and domestic and family violence (DFV) and sexual violence. 2020
Reports from Inspector of Custodial Sentences,
The Inspector of Custodial Services has recently tabled four inspection reports: Women on Remand; Inspection of Five Minimum Security Correctional Centres in Non-Metropolitan NSW; Programs, Employment and Education Inspection; and Inspection of the Residential Facilities and the Compulsory Drug Treatment Correctional Centre. April 2020
The reports are publically available and can be found at the following links:
Women on Remand:
Inspection of Five Minimum Security Correctional Centres in Non-Metropolitan NSW:
Programs, Employment and Education Inspection:
Inspection of the Residential Facilities and the Compulsory Drug Treatment Correctional Centre:
Youth Action Snapshot New Youth Sector 2020
“Youth Action officially launched the report on April 17, 2020 during a webinar event via Zoom. The findings from Snapshot 2020 highlight a vibrant, diverse and active NSW youth sector. They show it’s a sector driven by expertise, with a strengths based focus and a commitment to support and make positive changes in the lives of young people aged 12 to 25. Data shows that this is a workforce motivated to put young people first.” – Youth Action.
Youth Suicide in Australia: A Literature Review
Written by WJN student intern Emma Jennings, Masters in Social Work at the University of Wollongong, March 2020
Profile of Women in Prison in NSW
WJN are part of the Keeping Women Out of Prison (KWOOP) Coalition – an independent authoritative voice and targeted support based on evidence and expertise. They have released two important reports Profile of Women in Prison in NSW.
The research study commissioned by KWOOP with Sydney Community Foundation and Sydney Women’s Fund to establish a baseline profile of women in prison in NSW drawn from available data. The main report Profile of Women in Prison Part A: A Snapshot contains the data pertaining to women in prison in NSW as at August 2019.
The study also includes the compilation of a comprehensive list of support services for women in NSW affected by the corrections system. The census of services is published as a separate document, Profile of women in prison in NSW, Part B: Census of Services.
Domestic violence offenders, prior offending and reoffending in Australia
Shann Hulme, Anthony Morgan and Hayley Boxall
Australian Institute of Criminology, September 2019
Transgender women within the NSW and Australian Criminal Justice Systems
Project: Assessing intersectional experiences Transgender women face that commonly lead to contact with the Criminal Justice System, whilst analyzing how the existing structure of the Adult Mentoring Program may serve as a tool to reduce recidivism rates.
Written by WJN student intern, Lucy Sheather, Professional Pathways Project, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UTS. July 2019
Aboriginal mothers in prison in Australia: a study of social, emotional and physical wellbeing
The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, April 2019
WJN (April 2015)- Ceremonies of Degradation: Strip-searching in Women’s Prisons. WJN have written the following policy paper regarding the impacts of strip-searching procedures on women in correctional facilities.
The NSW Law Society Journal (Nov 2015) have produced an in depth cover article on the issues for women in prison. WJN also were invited to write and contribute an article to this same Law Society Journal re the success of the WJN Mentoring Program.