I'm still your mum: mothering inside and outside prison

Stone, U 2013, I'm still your mum: mothering inside and outside prison, Masters by Research, Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title I'm still your mum: mothering inside and outside prison
Author(s) Stone, U
Year 2013
Abstract In Victoria over the last decade, the rate of female incarceration has continued to rise. This is despite some attempts by government to address recidivism through gender responsive policies and programs. Of specific concern is that the majority of women prisoners are primary carers for their children. Hence, their incarceration splinters the family unit and can perpetuate the intergenerational cycle of offending. This thesis studies the impact of maternal incarceration and the issues associated with reunification of the mother and her children. In particular it examines the issues which mothers face in mothering, both inside and outside prison. The information was gathered from the perspective of those professionals who support mothers with lived prison experience. It examines the daily challenges they face in supporting these mothers. Using purposive sampling, six professionals were selected for interview. Standpoint feminism underpins the research because it is concerned with facilitating change to address political and social structural disadvantage. Labelling theory was also incorporated as it is an important theoretical consideration when examining discrimination of women with lived prison experience. This research demonstrates the multiple marginalisations of mothers in the criminal justice system. It also highlights the limited services available to them inside and outside prison, inadequate funding for services and inexperienced case managers both inside and outside prison. The research shows that little has changed in almost fifty years; the typical profile of the mothers’ show they still come from backgrounds characterised by disadvantage (such as poverty, homelessness, and physical abuse) and their offences are mostly non-violent. Furthermore, core problems that mothers face in regaining custody of their children remain the same, which invariably results in a failure for many of them to regain custody. Recommendations from this research include abolishing short custodial sentences, housing prioritisation for mothers exiting prison, and policy reform to prioritise funding for drug rehabilitation services both inside prison and in the community to ensure continuity of support post-release.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global, Urban and Social Studies
Keyword(s) Incarcarated mothers
Female prisoners
Mothers in prison
Mother-child relationship
fractured families
public housing
drug and alcohol counselling
mental health services
post release services
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Created: Fri, 29 Nov 2013, 08:26:05 EST by Denise Paciocco
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