Educating on the inside: Inmate mothers in Australian corrections
Farrell, Ann (1998) Educating on the inside: Inmate mothers in Australian corrections. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Law and Education, 3(2), pp. 16-28.
This paper reports on the Australian component of the author's international policy study of the impact of incarceration on inmate women and their young children in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and England. The study found that while the human rights of inmates to prison education are mandated within Australian corrections, the enactment of these rights is severely threatened by the practice of en masse containment of inmates within a prevailing culture of surveillance and suspicion. The relative docility of female inmates, their constitution of a small percentage of the overall prison population and the fact that the majority serve sentences of less than twelve months, render women inmates almost invisible in Australian corrections. Compounded by the fact that at least eighty-five percent of inmate women are mothers of dependent children and heads of single parent households, the participation of these women in prison education is further stymied by their concern for their children on the outside and/or their care of their children inside a prison which is inhospitable to their needs.
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