Australia - "Domestic violence: Women leaving prison ‘need proper housing’ to avoid abuse, service providers say"

Link here. Excerpt:

'The Kunga Stopping Violence Program, an initiative of the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS), is the only program in Central Australia that works with women while they are in prison, and then for 12 months after their release to try to break cycles of violence.

"I'd say 100 per cent of our women have had very traumatic experiences in their life," program co-manager Miriam Bevis said.

"And so their crimes have just come out of the environment that they've been exposed to."
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The number of women entering the criminal justice system has increased at an unprecedented rate.

A May 2017 report by the Human Rights Law Centre published statistics that revealed in the 25 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in custody, the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women being imprisoned grew by 148 per cent.

Northern Territory Minister for Families Dale Wakefield stopped short of describing the issue of female incarceration as a crisis.

But said rehabilitation services in and out of prisons had been focused on men for too long.

"It's something that we are looking at, and something that I know the Corrections Minister is very passionate about, and will continue to do that work," Ms Wakefield said.

Ms Wakefield also said an upcoming trial of an Alice Springs-based specialised domestic violence court would be aimed at shifting the power imbalance between men and women in the correctional system.

"Part of this would be having a specialist domestic violence list which would mean matters are dealt with in a more effective and timely way," she said.

"As well as making sure that everyone involved in that court has specialist training to understand the power dynamics of family and domestic violence.'

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