Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Criminology and Justice Honours

School

School of Law and Justice

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

First Advisor

Natalie Gately

Abstract

Incarceration impacts on a number of people, not just the person sentenced. It has been suggested that the family of the prisoner can experience the prison sentence just as much, albeit differently, as the prisoner themself. Families remain important, as those prisoners who return to strong family networks are at less risk of recidivism. National research has been used to inform policy-makers, but every State has unique characteristics. The overrepresentation of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal juveniles in juvenile detention, especially in Western Australia, has been well-documented. However, research examining the experiences of incarceration on family members is limited. This lack of knowledge about the issues faced by families with an incarcerated family member reduces the possibility of providing effective prevention programs. This qualitative study interviewed a small purposive sample of seven Indigenous parents and primary care-givers of detained juveniles, with the aim of exploring the experiences of incarceration on their families. The results examine how the experience of families can be improved; identified risk factors and predictors in order to reduce recidivism; and how to build and maintain positive family support networks, and prevent intergenerational offending. It is anticipated that these results will assist in informing agencies how to help build cohesive family supports, specifically for Indigenous families which are affected by a family member's incarceration.

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