The subject of youth crime has been one of much public debate over the last few years. Statistics demonstrate that many youths who resort to crime face serious social and economical marginalisation. Justice Action believes that major changes have to be made to the current youth justice system in order to combat these ongoing concerns.
Women have traditionally been sent to prison for different reasons to men; and once in prison, they endure different conditions of incarceration. Not only are more women going to prison in today’s society, but at expanding rates, for longer periods, and for even more minor crimes. But entering the prison system as a mother is especially damaging for both the woman and her children.
Most women who are put in prison pose no real threat to society at all. Statistics show:
- 70% of women prisoners have mental health problems.
- 37% have attempted suicide.
- 20% have been in the care system as children (compared to 2% of the general population).
- At least 50% report being victims of childhood abuse or domestic violence.
Prison is often a very expensive way of making bad situations worse.
- Nearly 40% of women prisoners lose their homes as a result of imprisonment.
- 65% re-offend on release.
- The most common offences for which women are sent to prison are theft and handling stolen goods.
Source: Women in Prison, http://www.womeninprison.org.uk/
There is a disproportionate number of Indigenous Australians being incarcerated. Alongside the escalating number of Aboriginal prisoners has been a major growth in ill health, with a high percentage of Aboriginal people entering the judicial system with chronic illnesses, substance abuse problems, learning and cognitive disabilities and mental illness.