U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Emotional Well Being: A Murri Counsellors Perspective (From Women in Corrections: Staff and Clients, P 1-10, 2000, Australian Institute of Criminology -- See NCJ-187936)

NCJ Number
Elvina Toby
Date Published
10 pages
This paper focuses on current statistics that provide a background profile of Murri women in Queensland prisons (Australia), along with protective and vulnerability factors displayed by Murri women in prison; the paper also suggests some practices that can assist in the achievement of emotional well-being for these women as well as all female inmates.
Murri women compose 28 percent of the female prison population, despite comprising only 1.5 percent of the State's population. Murri women behave and react differently to the same stressors compared with non-indigenous women, particularly in a prison environment. Murri women apparently have "protective factors" that help then cope with the stressful environment of prison. One of these protective factors is a conviction that they have access to a social support system. This belief reinforces other protective factors and coping mechanisms. Although the expectation of social support can facilitate coping in prison, it can also create a dysfunctional co-dependent relationship between the person and the supporter. If prison staff are to play a positive role in helping Murri women to have a positive prison experience, they must be familiar with Murri culture and the particular attitudes and perceptions of those conditioned by that culture. Counseling techniques designed to ensure emotional well-being in Murri inmates as well as other female inmates should express empathy, contrast existing life conditions with the life they wish for themselves, avoid argumentation, avoid imposing a personal view on a client, and support self-efficacy. Prerelease programs should start with the beginning of incarceration. Postrelease programs should include relapse prevention as well as the primary focus of enhancing emotional and social well-being. 1 table, 1 figure, and a 10-item bibliography