Women’s incarceration is on the rise globally and this has significant intergenerational, economic and humanitarian costs for communities across the world. While there have been efforts to implement reform, particularly in countries such as Canada, UK, US and Australia, the growing evidence suggests women’s prisons and the support structures surrounding them are in crisis.

This collection of critical essays presents groundbreaking research on women’s post-imprisonment policy, practice and experiences. It is the first collection to offer international perspectives on gender, criminalisation, the effects of imprisonment and women-centred approaches to the short and long-term support of women exiting prison. It offers cutting-edge insights into contemporary policy developments and women’s experiences across the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and Northern Ireland.

The collection makes two important contributions. First, it marks a departure from an instrumental and individual focus on ‘what works’ to reduce women’s offending and re-offending behaviour - a prevailing approach within competing collections focused on post-release issues. Second, it presents critical, original research with robust empirical foundations to revive feminist criminological engagement around gender, imprisonment, and most critically, post-release management, support and survival.

The collection will appeal to academics and community-based advocates, activists, lawyers and practitioners engaged in advocacy and service provision for imprisoned women. It is also an important and unique analysis for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying criminological and social science courses particularly those related to gender and crime, imprisonment and correctional policy and qualitative research methods.

chapter |12 pages


Gendered transcarceral realities

chapter |21 pages

Incarceration, welfare state and labour market nexus

The increasing significance of gender in the prison system

chapter |21 pages

Therapeutic correctional spaces, transcarceral interventions

Post-releaes support structures and realities experienced by women in Victoria, Australia

chapter |21 pages

To thrive or simply survive

Parole and the post-release needs of Canadian women exiting prison

chapter |19 pages

Continuing systemic discrimination

Indigenous Australian women exiting prison

chapter |19 pages

Post-release reality for women prisoners in Northern Ireland

The challenges of ‘resettlement' in a society emerging from conflict

chapter |20 pages

A bit neo-liberal, a bit Fabian

Interventionist narratives in a diversionary programme for women

chapter |25 pages

Decentring the prison

Abolitionist approaches to working with criminalized women

chapter |8 pages


A radical vision for system and social change