Leading social change…
The ‘Keeping Women Out of Prison' coalition, are calling for an urgent review of sentencing laws as rate of women in prison skyrockets by over 50% in just six years.
“We need to do things differently"
NSW Premier, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian
Photo: NSW Premier The Hon. Berejiklian, Welcome speech 'Empowering Women Changing Lives' breakfast at NSW Parliament House in 2017.
In their latest Position Statement, the 'Keeping Women Out of Prison' coalition, a sub-fund of Sydney Community Foundation, are calling for more investment in proven diversionary programs for mothers and their children serving shorter sentences, to help reduce the increasing population of women in prison.
More than half of all women prisoners are released after serving just three months.
For children of women in prison, lives are significantly disrupted, the impacts life-long.
“Children of imprisoned mothers are the hidden cost of the Australian Justice system."
Helen Wiseman, Founder, By My Side sub-fund
Children in care are much more likely to go to prison than to university and continue to be over-represented in the criminal justice system.
To support this important advocacy and stop children serving a silent sentence, please donate to KWOOP – Keeping Women Out of Prison Fund.
Your generosity will go toward providing critical programs to help women and their families restore their lives after imprisonment and creating stronger Sydney communities.
- $20 creates experiences for women in a safe environment
- $50 helps a woman overcome barriers to positive living in the community
- $100 provides tailored case support for a child and their carer
Keeping Women Out of Prison
Advocacy – Updated Position Statement
“The Coalition has formed a body of evidence that shows prison is an ineffective sentencing solution for the majority of female offenders, and that much more could be done to tackle the unique issues associated with women offending, before imprisonment becomes the only option.
“On an annualised basis it costs on average over $86,000 to keep a woman in prison, yet we know that incarceration increases her chances of re-offending, and the costs to her children’s future is far more."
Jane Jose, CEO, Sydney Community Foundation
Keeping Women Out of Prison
Advocacy – Past Events
Empowering Women Changing Lives
Every year, Keeping Women Out of Prison hosts 'Empowering Women Changing Lives' breakfast at NSW Parliament House. Bringing together policy makers, legal experts, senior decision makers of the justice system and service deliverers this annual event raises awareness and leads to action in social change.
2018 – June Oscar AO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
Photo: June Oscar AO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commission speaking at 'Empowering Women Changing Lives', NSW Parliament House in 2018 – image credit: Suzan Papazian
Convening the 5th annual “Empowering Women Changing Lives” breakfast at NSW Parliament House this Tuesday 18 September 2018, KWOoP coalition released a position statement and powerful keynote presentation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar AO.
“This morning I want to deliver a clear message, that is also set-out in the ‘Keeping Women out of Prison’ Position Statement – we have the evidence to prove that our criminal justice system in Australia is in crisis," said Commissioner Oscar.
“Women do not need prison ‘for their own good’. Women need their families and communities," said Commissioner Oscar.
Read the full speech from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar AO here.
2017 – The Hon. Graham West
At the Empowering Women, Changing Lives – NSW Parliament Breakfast, Wednesday 11th October 2017, Keynote speaker The Hon Graham West, argued how women's pathways to custody differ from men.
'Women's contact with the criminal justice system is often characterised by social and economic dependency connected to violent and abusive relationships and addiction,' he said.
'Sentencing guidelines in Australia provide limited scope to consider the impacts of parental incarceration on children.'
'The majority have never been part of any mainstream they can easily return to. They often come from and return to a handful of postcodes with very little social capital or resources.'
2016 – Baroness Jean Corsten, Author of the 2007 Corston Report
The Right Honourable The Baroness Jean Corston, PC, author of The Corston Report – A review of women with particular vulnerabilities in the UK justice system (2007) was invited to present about her findings and the resulting changes to the UK justice system at the annual Empowering Women – Changing Lives breakfast in 2016 and to many other audiences over the week in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Download the Position Paper, Keeping Women out of Prison
Media Coverage of Baroness Jean Corston, PC visit 2016
- The Morning Show, September 13, 2016
- The Conversation Article, September 14, 2016
Australia is locking up too many women but the UK offers a blueprint for a radical new approach
- Generosity Article, September 1, 2016
Sydney Community Foundation leads coalition to support women in the justice system
- Radio National Breakfast: Interview, September 15, 2016
Calls for a women centred approach