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Prisons and Punishment: Inequalities, Issues and Innovations. Contact. Hannah Graham Associate Lecturer in Criminology & Sociology, and current PhD candidate School of Sociology & Social Work, UTAS Hannah.Graham@utas.edu.au. Faculty of Arts. Hannah Graham PhD Candidate

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faculty of arts

Prisons and Punishment:

Inequalities, Issues and Innovations

Contact

Hannah Graham

Associate Lecturer in Criminology & Sociology, and current PhD candidate

School of Sociology & Social Work, UTAS

Hannah.Graham@utas.edu.au

Faculty of Arts

Hannah Graham

PhD Candidate

Associate Lecturer, Criminology

School of Sociology & Social Work, University of Tasmania

Email: Hannah.Graham@utas.edu.au

http://www.utas.edu.au/sociology-social-work/thinking-of-studying/criminology

faculty of arts1

Prisons and Punishment:

Inequalities, Issues and Innovations

Contact

Hannah Graham

Associate Lecturer in Criminology & Sociology, and current PhD candidate

School of Sociology & Social Work, UTAS

Hannah.Graham@utas.edu.au

  • Issues of criminal justice and social justice are linked. There are inequalities in who gets punished and sent to prison.
  • Punishment is more effective in the community than in prison.
  • However, prisons can be used for constructive purposes.

Faculty of Arts

slide3

Setting the Scene

Quick Stats and Facts

  • In Australia in recent years, crime rates have been going down (including violent and property crimes), yet prison populations have largely stayed the same or, in some cases, have been going up.
  • There are approximately 28,700 people in prison in Australia.
  • 50,000 people are released from prison each year in Australia.
  • Tasmania has approximately 500-530 prisoners on any given day, with approximately only about 30-40 of prisoners being women.
  • References: Australian Institute of Criminology (2012); Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (2011)
slide4

There are economic reasons why we should reduce the use of incarceration.

Cost per Tasmanian Prison Service inmate per day

$383.86

Cost per Community Corrections offender per day

$10.45

  • Source = Chapter 8, Report on Government Services (2012)
  • Costs include total net operating expenditure and capital costs.
  • Community Corrections includes the supervision of people on probation orders, parole orders and community service orders. See Community Corrections Tasmania’s website for more details.
slide6

There are social justice and humanitarian reasons why we should use prisons less…

Who gets punished at higher rates?

  • Young people under the age of 30 years old
  • People with low literacy and poor educational achievement
  • People on low incomes and unemployed people
  • People who are homeless or have issues accessing stable housing
  • People from neighbourhoods with concentrated disadvantage
  • People with difficult family histories, unstable home environments
  • People with histories of alcohol and other drug use
  • Indigenous people are over-represented
  • People with a mental illness, acquired brain injuries or low IQ
  • References: White & Graham (2010); Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (2011)
slide8

Who gets locked up at higher rates? The homeless, mentally ill, disabled

Reference: White & Graham (2010)

slide9

Who gets locked up at higher rates? People with poor literacy & education

Table: Percentages of ‘No Educational Qualification’ amongst Prisoners by Gender and Country

Reference: White & Graham (2010)

In Western Australia, between 78-95% of prisoners (depending on facility) had an educational level of less than Year 10 (Henson, 2000).

slide10

Who gets locked up at higher rates? Indigenous people

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners comprised just over a quarter (7,584) of the total prisoner population in Australia.
  • Indigenous imprisonment rates have jumped by 52% in the past decade alone.
  • Indigenous juveniles are 28 times more likely to be incarcerated compared to non-Indigenous juveniles.
  • References: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010); Willis & Moore (2008)
faculty of arts2

Prisons and Punishment:

Inequalities, Issues and Innovations

Contact

Hannah Graham

Associate Lecturer in Criminology & Sociology, and current PhD candidate

School of Sociology & Social Work, UTAS

Hannah.Graham@utas.edu.au

  • People are sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment.
  • Prisons should be used sparingly, and as a last resort.
  • Good things can be achieved behind closed doors, Tasmania has several innovative initiatives that are helping people to change.

Faculty of Arts

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Key References

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010) Prisoners in Australia 2009 Australian Bureau of Statistics: Canberra, ACT.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011) Prisoners in Australia 2010 Australian Bureau of Statistics: Canberra, ACT.
  • Australian Institute of Criminology (2012) Australian Crime Facts and Figures 2011 Australian Institute of Criminology: Canberra. Full text available online at www.aic.gov.au
  • Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (2011) The Health of Australia’s Prisoners 2010 Australian Institute of Health & Welfare: Canberra, ACT.
  • Community Corrections Tasmania http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/communitycorrections/home
  • Discovering Desistance blogs.iriss.org.uk/discoveringdesistance/
  • Reiman, J. (2007) The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class and Criminal Justice (8th e.) Allyn & Bacon: US.
  • Report on Government Services (2012) Chapter 8 ‘Corrective Services’, Productivity Commission. Available online at http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/114940/24-government-services-2012-chapter8.pdf
  • Tasmanian Reintegration Resources http://re-integrate.net/
  • White, R., & Graham, H. (2010) Working with Offenders: A Guide to Concepts and Practices Willan/Routledge: London.
  • Willis, M., & Moore, J. (2008) Reintegration of Indigenous Prisoners [Research & Public Policy Series 90] Australian Institute of Criminology: Canberra, ACT.