WIPAN meets with RoyaltyWIPAN was honoured to attend a lunchtime reception at Government House on Friday 9th November, with Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall to honour the mentoring of women and girls in Australia.
WIPAN was most fortunate to meet and talk briefly with Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla and Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, who were both very impressed with the work WIPAN is doing mentoring women affected by the criminal justice system.
- Women in NSW are being incarcerated at an unprecedented rate (particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women), far surpassing that of men.
- Women in the criminal justice system face unique challenges that are much greater and more complex than those of men.
- Women in prison experience higher levels of substance abuse; increased rates of infection from blood borne viruses, experience more mental illness and are more likely to inflict self-harm than men.
- The majority of women prisoners come from deeply disadvantaged backgrounds. Many report having experienced incidence of past childhood and adulthood sexual, emotional and physical abuse.
- Women prisoners confront unique challenges as the primary carers for their children. As a consequence the emotional, social and economic costs for mothers, children and families can be extensive.
- Almost two-thirds of women prisoners serve sentences less than 6 months for minor offences, many of which serve lengthy periods on remand whilst awaiting trial, leaving very little opportunity for rehabilitative intervention.