The perimeter fence at Silverwater jail in Sydney’s west.
Prisons are big business in Australia. Companies not only run entire prisons but provide many of the services. But what does the research say about the impact?
Use of data-driven risk assessments in sentencing may be heard by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court may soon hear a case on data-driven criminal sentencing. Research suggests that algorithms are not as good as we think they are at making these decisions.
Inmates wait to enter an assigned cell block at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, California.
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File
Repealing a legal provision that excludes people in prison or jail from Medicaid could improve access to treatment, save state and local governments money and reduce recidivism.
Up to 90% of Australian female prisoners were victims of abuse prior to incarceration.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
To reduce female recidivism rates, we need to address inmates' histories of trauma and abuse.
Research shows a link between violence against children and their subsequent criminality.
Reducing stubbornly high levels of violence can be achieved if there is a focus on ensuring that children are not exposed to violence or toxic stress at home.
What helps ex-offenders avoid rearrest?
Case management from nurses combined with peer coaching from ex-offenders helps recently released parolees avoid the behavior that got them locked up in the first place.
How do government agencies make decisions?
Flowchart diagram via shutterstock.com
Data-driven algorithms drive decision-making in ways that touch our economic, social and civic lives. But they contain inherent biases and assumptions that are too often invisible to the public.
Doing time: successful prisons have to ensure prisoners’ time is well spent.
Closing Victorian jails is an opportunity to create prisons that benefit inmates – and society.
Inmates walk outside their cells at San Quentin State Prison in June 2012.
Even though mental illness is consistently associated with criminal behavior, these conditions are largely undertreated in our prison system.
Is there a better way to predict whether someone once released will return behind bars?
Prison bars via www.shutterstock.com
Two-thirds of released prisoners in the US are arrested again within three years. Here's how we could change that.
When men and women go to college in prison, they often do not return to the world of crime.
President Obama wants to reopen access to Pell grants to prisoners. Studies show when men and women enroll in college programs, they are less likely to return to prison.
Funding CCTV cameras annihilated a proposal in NSW to create a mentoring program directed at young women in prisons or undergoing release.
Women coming out of jail require forms of assistance that are not simply directed at technologies for prevention or elimination of recidivism, but rather that are focused on health and well-being.
Judge Steven Alm pioneered the HOPE project, the first of scores of swift and certain sanction programmes in the US.
The success of probation programmes based on swift and certain sanctions has led to more than 160 such schemes operating in the US. Australia should consider whether the model might work here too.
Unless most prisoners are given a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, how much good can prison really do?
Sentencing policy is a mixed bag of approaches: punishment, deterrence, protection and rehabilitation. The system will remain costly and ineffective until punitive instincts give way to a more rational approach.
Prisoners are released every day, but we don’t know how many. The lack of basic data is an obstacle to effective services that would minimise their risk of re-offending.
AAP/Dean Lewins/Image digitally altered
We simply don't know how many prisoners are released each year, nor their demographic characteristics. As a result, we cannot tailor services that would reduce ex-prisoners' risks of re-offending.
Most of Tasmania’s relatively small prison population is housed at Risdon Prison Complex.
Wikimedia Commons/'Risdon' by Wiki ian
Imprisonment rates in Tasmania have steadily declined over the past decade -- the only state or territory where this has happened. That is a result of progressive and effective corrections policies.
Indigenous prisoners perform a welcome ceremony at the 2014 opening of Darwin’s $500 million prison, which is likely to be full by 2018.
The Northern Territory stands out for having one of the highest imprisonment rates in the world - much higher even than in the US - and it's hard to argue that this does the community much good.
The ACT’s new prison did not take long to fill up, which has tested the capacity of corrections authorities to live up to their stated high ideals.
The ACT's first prison opened in 2009 with lofty ideals, but rising prisoner numbers and high rates of re-imprisonment are presenting a severe test of the capital's reformist corrections agenda.
Queensland’s reliance on high-security facilities to house a growing prison population may be linked to the nation’s highest rates of return for prisoners on parole.
Queensland's rates of imprisonment had been falling, but have undergone a sharp reversal - much of it driven by the nation's highest rates of return by prisoners released into the community.
A report has found 34% of young people serving a community-based order and 66% in custody have a substance abuse problem.
Image from shutterstock.com
Improving health services in the juvenile justice system and the community could reduce the risk of youth offenders repeating…