Submission to Legal and Social Issues Committee Inquiry into Children Affected by Parental Incarceration
Women in prison are more likely than men to be the primary carer of dependent children or other family members. The increased use of incarceration against women – a global trend – amounts to ‘double punishment’ both for the women, and for the children and fractured families left behind. These children are the growing and largely invisible collateral damage of Victoria’s escalating female imprisonment rate.
In this submission to the Legal and Social Issues Committee Inquiry into Children Affected by Parental Incarceration, the CIJ draws on the wider evidence base, case studies from our practice partners, and first hand insights from the CIJ’s Lived Experience Expert, Dorothy Armstrong. We highlight the importance of applying a gendered, and child-focused lens to the issue of parental incarceration and set out options for reform that divert women from custody; ensures children are seen and heard in the criminal justice system; and invests in systems and services to respond appropriately.