PROGRAMS

CURRENT PROGRAMS

Sexual Assault Counselling Service
We have 2 sexual assault counsellors, one indigenous and one non-indigenous, that work with the women in Southeast Queensland prisons. This program was established in 1994 due to the high percentage (89%) of women in prison who have been sexually abused at some time in their life and this abuse being one of the contributing factors to their offending. This program is highly successful and over 3,500 women access this counselling service annually. Information Brochure - Email the Program.

Crucial Connection Program - Reconnect
Improving the level of connection of homeless young people or those at risk of homelessness who have a mother incarcerated with extended family, work, education, training and with their community. Counselling & family support provide culturally appropriate and accessible individual support and counselling services for young people, their mothers and families. Advocacy raises understanding of the issues faced by the young people and families of women in prison for key stakeholders including prison authorities, government and non-government organisations. Resource development develops a range of resources using a variety of media and styles in other than English language groups. Building links provides information, training & communication processes for key stakeholders impacting on the young people of women in prison. Activity programs provide access to a range of activities that compliment the other components in this program and respond tot he cultural, recreational and social needs of the young people & families of women in prison. Information Brochure - Email the Program.

Early Intervention Program - PEEK
This early intervention program is for mothers in the 4 prisons in Southeast Queensland and their children. The program focuses on pre and post release to ensure positive reunification on the family unit. The program will provide comprehensive services that are designed to build protective factors which seek to reduce the risk of delinquent behaviours and intergeneration al cycles of crime. Information Brochure - Email the Program.

Building On Women's Strength's Program (BOWS)
The BOWS Program is for women who are being release from prison who are primary care givers and their children. BOWS workers provide intensive support for women and their children in rebuilding their lives after the trauma of prison. Information Brochure - Email the Program.

    Kids & Mums Camps
    The program provides a family reunification service to women in prisoners and women post release and their children in south East Queensland. Day programs and camps are conducted for women and their children to attend.

     

    PAST PROGRAMS

    Indigenous Arts/Circus Project
    The project is to develop 3 resources using focus creative arts based workshops for Indigenous women who have been incarcerated and their children using action research processes for:
    • Indigenous women who have been in prison
    • Indigenous children’s workbooks
    • Community education resources for government and non-government workers.
    • These new resources will be available nationally and will demonstrate new approaches of how to work with Indigenous women who have been in prison and their children who are and have been affected by domestic and family violence.
    • Resources will be developed through 6 Arts/Circus Workshops in Brisbane & Townsville

    Aboriginal Support Worker
    Sisters Inside currently employees 1 Indigenous worker to provided support within all prisons in Southeast Queensland. However a majority of the workload is situated at Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre due to the high number of Indigenous women currently incarcerated within this centre.

    Australia Women in Prison Network - AWIPN
    This project aims to promote the interests of women in the criminal justice system throughout Australia and to enable the participation of and the collective self advocacy by women in the criminal justice system, in the network and the wider community. AWIPN will lobby to achieve long term social change in the interest of women in the criminal justice system, support and encourage the development of new means of meeting the rights and needs of these women.

    Outputs
    -National Membership Database
    -Website – Publications, Information and useful links
    -Bimonthly Teleconference
    -Annual Roundtable
    -Development of National Resource for Working with Women in Prison

    A Place to Call Home
    The purpose of this project is to provide a preventative and interventionist service to assist women in prison or women newly released from prison to access accommodation and support services in Townsville and Brisbane.

    Transition Program
    This program provides Transitional support to women exiting prison in obtaining identification, accommodation, and transport upon release. The program aims to reduce the deaths, recidivism and provides support for the women; their children and families through this transition period.

    Statewide Incorrections Network
    The aim of SIN (Statewide Incorrections Network) is to:

    Maintain state wide network or organisations and individuals working with prisoners and their families pre and post release.

    • To make this network a self-sufficient, sustainable resource for the target group;
    • To expand and develop existing links between statewide/regional services and ATSI/non-ATSI services;
    • To resource members of the network;
    • To improve services to the client group; and
    • To expand the target groups cultural awareness.

    Women's Transition Program
    This program works with women about to be released back into the community and supports the women, their children and families through this process. This transition period is high need for women. In the last 12-month period 9 women have died just after their release back into the community from either drug overdoses, suicide or from a domestic violence situation. This pilot project aims to reduce the deaths, recidivism and provides support for the women; their children and families through this transition period. Family and Community Services (Federal) and Department of Corrective Services fund this program.

    Women in Prison Journal
    This journal is a bi - annual publication that allows academics, government, women in prison, service providers and interested others to publish articles about current trends and research in relation to women in prison and young women in detention. The journal is distributed state, nationally and internationally.

    WILL Program (Women Inside Living & Learning)
    This is a recently funded program that aims to reduce the transmission of HCV to women incarcerated in Southeast Queensland prisons and to provide harm minimisation strategies to those women who may have already contracted HCV. Sisters Inside has researched drug use in Southeast Queensland prisons and statistics prove that over half the population have injected drugs whilst in prison. Syringes are being used between 5 - 7 women and cleaned with hot water in most cases. Transmission of HCV is increasing in the women's prisons and this constitutes a public health risk.

    Youth Crime Prevention Program
    This is a recently funded program enabled a group of young people whose mothers are in prison to participate in the development a resource kit to assist them and other young people in the future about issues which are raised for them while their mums in jail and referral and information about organisations that can support young people while their mums in jail. These young people were involved in activities which enhanced their self esteem and confidence such as, participating in canoeing, ropes courses, art workshops and attend white water rafting camps and indigenous camps. Due to this program recently being developed it has come to our attention that 2 young people have suicided within three weeks of their mothers release from prison. Many are homeless, self-harming, excluded or suspended from school, drug and alcohol abusers, living in violent environments. Order Now.


    Crying Walls
    Drug & Alcohol Prevention Project for Incarcerated Women in Southeast Queensland. This project has been recently funded by the Commonwealth of Australian National Illicit Drug Strategy Community Partnerships Initiative funds. The project will incorporate education young women in prison about the effects of drug and alcohol use with particular focus on harm minimisation; the social, physical and mental effects of drug and alcohol use (particularly intravenous drug use), and exploration of alternatives to drug and alcohol use.

    Work Pathways Program
    This program has been funded by the Department of Employment and Training to provide an opportunity for women to undertake accredited training after they have been released from prison. Download Brochure. For further information.

    The Insider Newsletter
    The Insider is a newsletter written and produced by the women in prison. The women in prison produce these newsletters bimonthly. Workshops to develop skills on the computer program have been developed and implemented. The newsletter allows for communication between each of the 4 women's prisons in Southeast Queensland and information is distributed about dates of parole sittings etc. Every woman in prison receives a copy and over 300 women are in the prison at any time. Feedback is very positive and the women look forward to each newsletter.

    Special Circumstances Court Program
    This program helps homeless adults charged with minor offences to avoid, where possible, the criminal justice system. It allows them to be assessed and referred to appropriate services instead of being fined or imprisoned.

    Homeless people referred to the program are given the opportunity to resolve the issues that may be related to their offending, such as accommodation, health, and drugs and alcohol dependence. The program is an initiative of the Brisbane Magistrates Court and is funded by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General. It is part of the Queensland Government’s integrated response to homelessness.