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Profile of women in prison NSW

Profile of women in prison in NSW

Commissioned by the – Keeping Women Out of Prison Coalition – (KWOOP), a Sub Fund of Sydney Community Foundation and Sydney Women’s Fund.

Lucy Phelan, Mindy Sotiri, and Margaret Scott for KWOOP

KWOOP firmly believes in, and advocates for, evidence-based support. Understanding and sharing the data that informs our advocacy is vitally important.

When looking at the data, it’s important to distinguish between Census versus Flow numbers. Census equals the number in prison on a particular day (e.g. 800 women) but around double that number flows through prisons over a year (e.g. 1600). The data tells us that women are more likely to be on remand and serve shorter sentences than men.

While we saw a drop in prisoners during COVID due to political decisions that prioritised public health, we saw a snap back post COVID, with a significant and most unfortunate increase in Indigenous girls and women facing court.

We did see a decrease in the number of girls in custody, however, the majority of girls who go in and out of custody are Indigenous and have the highest complex support needs.

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