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Women's Survival Post-Imprisonment: Connecting Imprisonment with Pains Past and Present

NCJ Number
Punishment & Society Volume: 13 Issue: 5 Dated: December 2011 Pages: 551-570
Bree Carlton; Marie Segrave
Date Published
December 2011
20 pages
The article examines the issue of women's unnatural post-prison deaths in Victoria, Australia.
The article examines the issue of women's unnatural post-prison deaths in Victoria, Australia, through the lens of women's accounts of survival and near-death after exit from prison. Central to this analysis is the seldom addressed or acknowledged relationship between trauma and the multiple harms and disadvantages that women experience both in the prison system and on the outside. In seeking to explicate the centrality of trauma to women's experiences inside and outside the system, the authors drew upon the accounts of the women with whom they had spoken in the course of this research. A key theme that emerges from these narratives is the prevalence of trauma, near-death experiences and harms faced by women who have survived. Such accounts run counter to assumptions within existing post-release research that imprisonment comprises a discrete traumatic episode within a woman's life and that there is a useful distinction to be made between women who are strong enough to survive and those who die. In this way the authors offer a contribution towards revising possible future directions for critical feminist and prison scholars. (Published Abstract)