The Miranda Project is an innovative, gender specific approach to crime prevention targeting women with complex needs who are at risk of offending and re-offending. It aims to do this through the establishment of a holistic inclusive support service.
The Project is an initiative of the Corrective Services Women’s Advisory Council and a project of the CRC. Modelled on women’s centres in the UK that have been evaluated and found to have remarkably positive impacts on women’s lives, the Miranda Project is a first for NSW and Australia.
The service will assist women to desist from offending, function as a diversionary program and provide post-release support for those returning to the community.
Statistics on Women in Custody
30 June 2015 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census figures
- Total number of women in custody – 861
- Total number released in 12 months to 30 June – 1861
- % serving up to 24 months – 86%
- % releases as first time offenders – 30%
- % of remainder serving 2 years or less – 97.5%
- % released to non-custodial penalty – 80%
The trend leading to unprecedented numbers of women in NSW prisons
- Female inmates 1995 – 835
- Female inmates 2013 – 2,350. This is a 180% increase
- Female inmates on remand 1995 – 126
- Female inmates on remand 2013 – 642
- Number of females sentenced 1995 – 709
- Number of females sentenced 2013 – 1708
- Indigenous women’s imprisonment rate in 2013 at 420/100,000 which is 15% greater than the general female population
- In 2013 33% of female inmates were indigenous
- In 2013 75% of female inmates serving sentence of up to and less than 12 months
- In 2013 recidivism rates for indigenous women at 66.8% compared with 41.5% for general population
Women are currently being sentenced at 4 times the number they were 20 years ago with more women in custody on remand than men. Women have short but frequent periods of imprisonment. A diversionary program such as Miranda can have an immediate impact on numbers of women in custody serving short terms or remaining on remand for long periods of time and therefore, on the consequent disastrous impact on their families and communities.
For more data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics see www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4512.0?OpenDocument