Aboriginal mothers in prison in the news
Researchers at the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) recently raised the focus on a rarely discussed aspect of Australia’s high Indigenous incarceration rate: the far-reaching impact of imprisoning Aboriginal mothers.
A Letter to the Editor, written by researchers Dr Mandy Wilson and Jocelyn Jones and published in The West Australian, sparked further media interest in the preliminary findings of the NHMRC-funded project on the ‘Social and cultural resilience and emotional well-being of Aboriginal mothers in prison’.
The researchers, who interviewed more than 80 Aboriginal mothers in prison for the project, highlighted the need for investment in longer-term rehabilitative solutions to stop continued repetition of the incarceration cycle.
“Uniquely, the research explored the women’s childhoods and their mothering experiences,” the letter to the newspaper stated. “Rarely is consideration given to the devastating impact of a mother’s incarceration on their communities, families and children.
“Between them, the incarcerated women had 275 children who had been left motherless. For the children this frequently meant relocation to another suburb or community, disruption of schooling and social networks, and separation from siblings. It is a situation which sadly mirrors the childhoods of many of the women who were also affected by parental incarceration…”
Further information about the ‘Social and cultural resilience and emotional well-being of Aboriginal mothers in prison’ project: Visit website