Episode 3: Parents in Prison

Most people in jail have experienced disadvantage at some point in their lives, and it’s a legacy that often passes from parent to child. This episode examines current Australian research into the experience of mothers in the criminal justice system with Professor Susan Dennison from Griffith University. Her research project, Transforming corrections to transform lives, explores how having a parent in prison shapes the development and life outcomes of their children. A better understanding of parental identity in prison could help to improve the experience of those parents, and promote their rehabilitation. 

We’ll also meet Tegan in this episode. Tegan is serving a sentence at the Darwin Correctional Centre, and her mum is there too. We’ll hear what it’s like for Tegan trying to parent three young children from inside prison.  

Could transforming policies and systems for parents in prison reduce the intergenerational transmission of offending and disadvantage? What kind of measures would ensure prisoners maintain strong relationships with their children and why are these investments worth it? Might this be a way to ensure a prison sentence becomes an offramp to break the cycle of disadvantage?

Tegan’s story is excerpted from Birds’ Eye View, the first podcast made by women in the Darwin Correctional Centre. For more information, and to listen to the podcast in its entirety, visit birdseyeviewpodcast.net