Women in Australian Prisons: The Cycle of Abuse and Dysfunctional Environments
The Prison Journal, Vol. 81, No. 1, pp. 87-112, 2001
26 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2009 Last revised: 21 Jun 2018
Date Written: 2001
A significant proportion of Australian female inmates are drug addicts and women who have experienced violence as children and/or as adults. Ironically, the three rules (“don’t talk,” “Don’t trust,” and “Don’t feel”) that many therefore grew up with ironically are perpetuated within the prison institutional culture and structure. Many women are placed inappropriately in maximum security facilities that, due perhaps to the small population size relative to men, lack adequate employment, education, and rehabilitation. Comparison of results from empirical research conducted in the early 1990s with recent data reveals that although there have been some positive steps implemented, they have not greatly affected the dysfunctional women’s prison culture. The prisons for the most part continue to ignore the specific needs of women (and victims of violence). Thus, the tragic generational cycle of violence (crime-prison-violence-crime-prison-violence) persists.
Keywords: prison, violence
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