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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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The 2002 Mental Health Strategy For Women Offenders

Jane Laishes
Mental Health, Health Services
2002

RTF

SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS SINCE THE 1997 STRATEGY

Since the publication of the original Strategy there have been a number of significant developments affecting federally incarcerated women, as follows:

  1. The closure of the Prison for Women in 2000 and the opening of four regional women's facilities and an Aboriginal healing lodge between 1995 to 1997.
  2. The implementation of the Intensive Intervention Strategy (IIS), aimed at better addressing the needs and risks of those women classified as maximum security and women with mental health problems. The IIS provides safe and secure accommodation for these two groups of women while emphasizing intensive staff intervention, programming, and treatment. The IIS is made up of two separate components, the Structured Living Environment and Intensive Intervention in a Secure Environment (Secure Unit).
  3. The evolution of existing mental health programs and services and the development of new mental health programs and services.
  4. An increase in resources for the provision of psychological services at the women's facilities.

In addition, a number of studies of CSC's incarcerated women were undertaken in an attempt to better define the mental health and maximum security populations who were targetted for the IIS. A summary of these reports can be found in Appendix A.