To: Queensland's Communities Minister Tracy Davis
Save Sisters Inside
We call on Queenslands Communities Minister Tracy Davis to urgently reinstate the funding for Sisters Inside which provides critical support services and counselling for criminalised women pre and post release prison in North Queensland.
Why is this important?
Criminalised women have the highest rate of sexual and physical abuse perpetrated against them in our community. Due to this horrendous abuse women turn to self medication with illegal drugs and/or alcohol. Sisters Inside reduces crime in our communities, breaking the cycle of imprisonment which saves the State Government and tax payers money and keeps families together.
Nearly 60% of the women have a mental illness. In Townsville women's prison over 80% of women are Aboriginal and over 90% of the women cannot read and write. These issues have to be addressed, so that women when released into the community can move on with their lives and not return to drug and alcohol abuse and offending to feed their addiction.
Sisters Inside's services and counselling reduces recidivism (re-offending) and the cost to tax payers. It costs tax payers $70,000 per year to keep one woman in prison. If we support women so they do not return to prison we save hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be used in the areas of education, health and housing in our communities. Sisters Inside saves the Government money.
Support and counselling women costs less than the cycle of imprisonment. It also reduces crime in our communities and keeps families together for the long term.