Corrections to better support women prisoners at risk of family violence

  • Judith Collins

Corrections has introduced changes to better support women prisoners at risk of family violence when they leave prison, says Corrections Minister Judith Collins.

Most women prisoners are, or have been, victims of family violence, which may be intergenerational and an entrenched part of their lives.

Corrections aims to identify women at risk of family violence early in their prison sentences so safety planning and appropriate support can be organised.

By starting this process earlier, Corrections is seeking to reduce further harm to these women, contribute towards breaking the cycle of family violence, and support better reintegration.

“For many of these women, prison is a place of relative safety compared to what they may face at home. There is a lot that Corrections can do to support them while in prison and prepare for their eventual release back into the community.”

Corrections and Police are working together to share information about family violence risks. Prison case managers also link in earlier with relevant family violence agencies that specialise in working with victims of family violence.

In addition, women prisoners will have time in prison to attend courses or programmes that may help. Careful planning will be carried out when a woman leaves prison and returns to her community.

They are also able to call Shine’s 0508 and the Are You Okay 0800 helplines if they prefer to talk with someone outside the prison environment. 

“Better support for women prisoners who are at risk of family violence will help to break the cycle of offending and stop intergenerational violence,” says Ms Collins.