Women in australian prisons: The cycle of abuse and dysfunctional environments

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50 Citations (Scopus)


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 are present within the prison institutional culture and structure. The female prison population is relatively small. As a result, many women are placed inappropriately in maximum-security facilities and have limited programs for employment, education, and drug/violence issues. 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. For the most part these continue to ignore the specific needs of women (and victims of violence). Thus the tragic generational cycle of violence-crimeprison-violence-crime-prison persists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-112
Number of pages26
JournalPrison Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes


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