On 11 April WCHM was pleased to launch it’s new report The stories of ACT women in prison: 10 years after the opening of the AMC.
Because it has now been 10 years since the ACT’s Alexander Maconachie Centre (AMC) was opened, Women’s Centre for Health Matters (WCHM) wanted to share the experiences of women in the AMC to ensure a better understanding in the ACT of them as real women with families and complex backgrounds, not the stereotypes often portrayed in the media.
The AMC began taking prisoners on 30th March 2009. At that time the Women’s Centre for Health Matters published Invisible Bars: The Stories behind the Stats, which aimed to provide insights into the impact that imprisonment and institutionalisation has on women.
This latest report shares the stories of eleven women who were imprisoned in the AMC who shared their stories with WCHM – not only their history and the experiences that led to their imprisonment, but their hopes for the future. Women who are in prison, and who are released from prison, regularly have to tell their stories to others each time they appear before court or seek support to re-establish their lives. But as identified in WCHM’s 2009 report (Invisible Bars: The Stories behind the Stats) ‘rarely, though, are these women given the opportunity to tell their whole story, without judgement or fear of being denied services’.