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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 183057 Find in a Library
Title: New Prison Culture: Making Millions From Misery (From Harsh Punishment: International Experiences of Women's Imprisonment, P 189-210, 1999, Sandy Cook and Susanne Davies, eds. -- See NCJ-183050)
Author(s): Amanda George
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Northeastern University Press
Boston, MA 02115
Sale Source: Northeastern University Press
Managing Manager
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines how profits have affected women's prison issues in Australia.
Abstract: The first section, "Women in Prisons: 1956-1996," discusses women's prisons in Victoria during the 40-year period prior to the prison sell-off under corrections privatization policy. This overview reveals the part that activism by women prisoners and groups on the outside has played in influencing public discussion of prison policy. The second section, "Secure in Luxury," examines Australia's first private women's prison. It reports that the level of violence at the prison surpasses any level of violence at Fairlea, the previous public prison. The problems of violence and sexual assault are occurring because the prison relies on cameras rather than staff in order to save money; it has ongoing staff turnover from the top to the bottom, and it has chronic understaffing. The final section of the chapter, "Opening Windows for Profit - Closing Doors on Information," discusses how the profit culture was facilitated by government and the effect this has had on prison policy and management. In its desire to close off information and ensure that problems in private prisons not be revealed, the government erected legislative barriers to the flow of information about prison contracts, performance standards, policy, practices, and statistics by claiming that the lives of prisoners are now "commercial secrets" protected from disclosure under law. The only information available has come as a result of coronial inquiries, Freedom of Information appeals, and parliamentary committee investigations. 50 notes and 14 references
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Accountability; Australia; Female inmates; Inmate statistics; Prison conditions; Prison management; Privatization in corrections
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