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From the paper by Lorana Bartels & Antonette Gaffney: In this paper, the literature concerning examples of good

practice in womens prison systems in Australia is reviewed. Key international developments are also considered, although it is acknowledged that the potential for transfer of such models may at times be limited. Womens prison system management and operations In this section, relevant prison system management practices and operational developments are considered, including:

provisions in the ACT Corrections Management (Reception and Management of Female Prisoners) Policy 2010 (ACT Government 2010b); Queenslands Healthy Prisons Handbook (QCS 2007b), which stipulates a range of measures with regards to female prisoners; the Standards for the Management of Women Prisoners in Victoria (Corrections Victoria 2009c), which were released in May 2009 and appear to constitute the most comprehensive sets of standards for female prisoners in Australia; and good practices identified by the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services Western Australia at the two main womens prisons in Western AustraliaBandyup Womens Prison and Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women.

In addition, key international lessons in corrections management, particularly from Canada, Denmark and Scotland, are considered. Good practice in prison management and operations should include the development of specific policies and practices that acknowledge the gender-specific needs of female prisoners, especially in the context of:

reception; transportation; physical and mental wellbeing; education, employment and program treatment; security; and pregnancy and parenting.

...Corrections programs In this section, the availability and evidence of effectiveness of womens corrections programs is discussed, as well as the need to develop programs that will be practical for women upon leaving custody. The need to properly evaluate programs is also considered, although it is acknowledged that there are, in most instances, few evaluations to empirically support the use of various corrections programs. Good practice dictates the provision of a range of

custodial services (such as counselling, cognitive skills, anger management and substance abuse programs) and post-release support, as well as access to mental and physical health services and vocational, educational and recreational activities. Some of the promising developments discussed include:

holistic programs which address womens varied and complex needs including housing, parenting, relationships, trauma recovery, financial management, independent living, legal advice, physical and mental health issues, drug and alcohol counselling and reintegration into the community; the establishment of cafe facilities which are staffed by prisoners to equip them with hospitality, sales and management skills; the adaptation of the therapeutic community model for female prisoners; developing employment and education programs that enable women to gain skills in nontraditional areas, for example, building and computing; developing networks with the local community; the availability of female-orientated recreational programs, such as yoga and tai chi; and ensuring education, employment and treatment programs are sensitive to culture and gender.

A recent review of corrections programs in Australia found that although the needs of women are being increasingly recognised, there are currently insufficient resources allocated in this domain. International experiences, especially in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, point to some promising developments and principles, although they also highlight the relative paucity of research evaluating womens corrections programs.