Submission to the Inquiry into children affected by parental incarceration

11 May 2022

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Safe and Equal welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Inquiry into Children of Imprisoned Parents. As the peak body for specialist family violence services that provide support to victim survivors in Victoria, our response to this inquiry centres the devastating and long-term impacts of family violence on children and their incarcerated family members.

The majority of women and gender diverse people in prison are survivors of violence and trauma (experienced either in childhood or as an adult) and up to 70% of women in prison are parents. Victoria is experiencing a dramatic and unacceptable increase in the number of women being incarcerated (137.82% over the previous decade), including a dramatic rise in the number of unsentenced women entering the prison system on remand (43% of the total number of women in prison in 2020). Women risk losing housing, employment and custody of their children while imprisoned. Even short periods of imprisonment due to remand can result in catastrophic implications for women and their children, furthering the legacy of family violence, trauma and structural disadvantage.

Concerted and urgent measures to address the drivers of women’s incarceration are required to stop Victoria’s “prisons functioning as a substitute for social and community infrastructure.

Page last updated Wednesday, May 11 2022


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