Mother Seeking Safe Home: Aboriginal Women Post-Release

University of Sydney Faculty of Law
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 2009, 1, 21 (2), pp. 288 - 301
Issue Date:
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The NSW Government has recently announced the establishment of a number of accommodation and reintegration services for offenders leaving prison and for others subject to non-custodial or parole orders. This shift recognises the established importance of post-release accommodation and individual case management for ex-prisoners as important steps towards addressing the high rates of re-incarceration of people in NSW. However, like the vast majority of such services, this latest measure does not sufficiently respond to the specific issues facing Aboriginal women, who are experiencing the fastest rate of increase of all groups of prisoners across Australia. Aboriginal women have higher rates of return to prison, higher rates of social and physical disadvantage, and higher numbers of dependent children than their non-Aboriginal counterparts. Their specific experiences of intersectional discrimination on the grounds of their race and gender remain largely invisible to policy makers. This article draws on the principles of decolonisation, human rights and social justice alongside relevant research on post-release services and support to propose the development of an Aboriginal-women specific transitional model to assist in redressing the cycle of reincarceration for Aboriginal women in NSW.
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