Violence in the lives of Aboriginal mothers in prison: women who use violence

Strands Project Theme
Project Description

The over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australian prisons is a major public health concern and human rights issue.  The degree to which women have been imprisoned in Australia has seen a sharp incline with the rate for Aboriginal women increasing alongside and at a faster pace than that of all women in prison in Australia. Significantly, in tandem with their increasing imprisonment rates is an apparent escalation in violent offending among this group.  Aboriginal female prisoners are more likely to be both victims and perpetrators of violent offences than non-Aboriginal female prisoners. It is well-documented that women’s experiences of victimisation have been linked to their pathways into prison (for both adult and juvenile women). What is less well examined is Aboriginal women’s own use of violence and the part it plays in the unacceptably high incarceration rates of Aboriginal women.

This study will involve the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data collected as part of the Social and Cultural Resilience and Emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal Mothers in prison (SCREAM) project. Data for SCREAM was collected from Aboriginal mothers in prison in WA and NSW.  The study will examine variables that are comparable across the two sites such as: such as age, number of children, number of times in prison, alcohol use, educational, employment status, history of sexual abuse and parental incarceration.

Project Team
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Professor
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