Women prisoners

Female prisoners


First, do no harm

This report shines a light on harmful practices in women’s prisons in New Zealand. It finds that while there have been some encouraging policy developments in recent years, deep challenges still remain.

The lived experience of women in prison: thematic report

Women in prison in New Zealand share common experiences with imprisoned women around the world. This report explores the lived experience of women in New Zealand prisons.
Discussion paper

Leaving custody behind: foundations for safer communities and gender-informed criminal justice systems - issues paper

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the rising rates of women’s incarceration in Victoria and to build foundations for an alternative trajectory.

“It’s good to know each other, to be Kungas” final report

This is an evaluation report produced on behalf of the Kunga Stopping Violence Program (KSVP), a throughcare program supporting Aboriginal women who have been incarcerated in the Alice Springs Correctional Centre for an alleged violent offence. It replaces an earlier interim report, published August 2020.

The health and welfare of women in Australia's prisons

The number of women in Australia’s prisons is growing and it is becoming increasingly important to understand the health and wellbeing needs of the female prison population. This report shows that women entering prison often come from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a history of substance use...

“It’s good to know each other, to be Kungas” interim report

This is an interim evaluation report produced on behalf of the Kunga Stopping Violence Program (KVSP), a throughcare program supporting Aboriginal women who have been incarcerated in the Alice Springs Correctional Centre for an alleged violent offence. It outlines the initial findings of a broader...
Briefing paper

Women’s imprisonment and domestic, family and sexual violence

This synthesis is designed for policymakers and practitioners engaging with people affected by domestic, family and sexual violence and imprisonment. It is also relevant for those who are developing policy frameworks addressing domestic, family and sexual violence; imprisonment; housing; mental health; substance use; and related...
Journal article

Incarcerated Aboriginal women’s experiences of accessing healthcare and the limitations of the ‘equal treatment’ principle

This article reports the findings of the largest qualitative study with incarcerated Aboriginal women in New South Wales, and their experience with access to healthcare.

Profile of women in prison in NSW

The Keeping Women out of Prison (KWOOP) Coalition commissioned this baseline study to address this gap in the availability of consolidated evidence on the status of women in prison in NSW and the services available to them.

Kungas’ trauma experiences and effects on behaviour in Central Australia

This research explored the lives of 12 Aboriginal women who were clients of the Kunga Stopping Violence Program (KSVP), and were incarcerated for alleged violent offences in Central Australia. Analysis of their life stories demonstrates the critical need for services that can effectively respond to...

Design and Make skills development program

This project was part of the South Australian Department for Correctional Services’ (DCS) exploration of policy options for transforming its current prisoner art activities and a selection of existing prison industry activity into a comprehensive creative industries program for prisoners.

No bail, more jail? Breaking the nexus between community protection and escalating pre-trial detention

This report investigates the reasons behind the increase in the number of people being denied bail and detained in prison in Victoria. Through a comparison of bail laws and their associated parliamentary debates in Victoria in 1977 and 2017–18, it analyses how risk has been...
Journal article

Aboriginal mothers in prison in Australia: a study of social, emotional and physical wellbeing

This article argues that the adoption of social and emotional wellbeing as an explanatory framework for culturally secure healthcare in prison is essential to improving health outcomes of Aboriginal mothers in prison in Australia.

Northern Territory of Australia: the shame of Indigenous female incarceration

This paper attempts to explore why there has been a continual rise in Indigenous female incarceration rates in the Northern Territory since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) in 1991.

Recent trends in the NSW female prison population

Explores a variety of explanations that can potentially account for the 50% increase in the adult female prison population in NSW since 2011.

Total control: ending the routine strip searching of women in Victoria's prisons

This report calls on the Victorian government to bring the degrading practice of routine strip searches in women’s prisons to an end, arguing that there are modern and less intrusive alternatives available that can be implemented without compromisingprison safety.

Implementing OPCAT in Victoria: report and inspection of the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre

This investigation mapped places of detention in Victoria, how they are monitored, and what needs to change to implement OPCAT.

Returning home, back to community from custodial care

The Returning Home Back to Community from Custodial Care (RHCCC) pilot project was designed to build an improved understanding of the most appropriate model of care that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women can expect from community-based service providers who are focused on improving their...