State responses to victims: creating prisoners
National prison surveys show prisoners are more likely than the general
o Be unemployed.
o Be of low social class (or SES).
o Have multiple mental health problems.
o Have many criminal convictions.
o Have martial difficulties.
o Have experienced abuse or neglect.
o Have reduced social and economic capital.
Removed from society and then returned to it.
Is characterised by engagement in victim-blaming attitudes, behaviors, and
practices, which result in additional trauma for sexual assault survivors.
o Some call it post-crime victimisation or double victimisation.
o Concerns further victimisation following on from the original
o E.g. victim-blaming, inappropriate post-assault behaviour or language
by police or doctors, or other organisations that may further add to the
Linked to oppressive and hostile beliefs.
The product of victim’s lack of social acknowledgement and legal
representation further intensifies victim’s trauma.
Numbers in NSW prisons
Prisoner population. Families of prisoners.
10,000 people in custody on any Up to 150,000 people in
given day. community directly affected.
20,000 - 30,000 cycle through 71,833 registered child visitors in
Just 7 areas of Greater Sydney 51% visiting a family member.
account for 43.4% of prison Majority of prisoners in NSW
population and only 3 Sydney come from only ten suburbs.
suburbs account for 30% of the
Sydney-based women prisoners.
Negotiating the CJS
Bail, remand, courts, what will happen, etc.
Prisoners’ families remain largely ‘forgotten victims’.
o Without appropriate support are families victims of the system?
o Are the community also victims?
o Significant problems for families centre around finding out what has
happened to their relative. Arrest
Issues for and impacts on families:
o Child behavioural issues.
o Child care.
o Emotional impact.
o Grief and loss.
o Emotional support.
o Welfare impact.
o Financial impact.
o Lack of support & information.
o Court processes.
o Practical assistance.
o Legal assistance.
Families of prisoners – financial loss:
o Supporting someone in prison may cause increased levels of financial
insecurity due to:
The loss of one income.