Sydney Community Foundation and its Sydney Women’s Fund are collaborating with Zonta Club of Sydney, SHINE for Kids, The Miranda Project, Reichstein Foundation, and Women in Prison Advocacy Network (WIPAN) to change community attitudes and government practice relating to the incarceration of women, and to increase investment in diversionary programs for women in the criminal justice system.
In NSW alone, there are some 940 women currently in prison – approximately 42% of whom are being held on remand. It costs $110,000 per annum for each woman in prison, while six in ten of those on remand are released without any custodial sentence. As well as financial costs, there are significant social costs, with children being the hidden victims.
In 2007, Baroness Corston led a ground-breaking enquiry into the UK prison system’s impact on women. The government adopted 41 of the 43 recommendations in The Corston Report. Ten years after their implementation, Baroness Corston has been invited by a coalition of philanthropy and women’s organisations for a series of meetings and public speaking events in Sydney and Melbourne 14 – 24 September 2016. She will brief politicians, senior public servants, policy makers and local justice organisations on the recommendations made in the Report, their applicability in an Australian setting, and the benefits of a woman-centred approach to reducing recidivism rates.
Baroness Corston will speak at two public events in Sydney during her visit:
- Empowering Women Changing Lives Breakfast at Parliament House on Wednesday, 14 September at 7.30am.
- Sydney University Distinguished Speaker Series, hosted by the Institute of Criminology. Tuesday 13 September 6pm – 8pm
Baroness Corston’s visit to Australia has been funded entirely by private philanthropy – through donations to Sydney Community Foundation’s By My Side Fund, established to support women and children whose lives are impacted by the criminal justice system, and through the generous support of the Reichstein Foundation in Victoria.
Help improve the lives of women and children involved in the justice system by making a donation to the By My Side Fund.
More information about Baroness Corsten’s Australian visit can be found here.