Impact of family-friendly prison policies on health, justice and child protection outcomes for incarcerated mothers and their dependent children: a cohort study protocol

Helen Myers, Leonie Segal, Derrick Lopez, Ian Li, David Preen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction Female imprisonment has numerous health and social sequelae for both women prisoners and their children. Examples of comprehensive family-friendly prison policies that seek to improve the health and social functioning of women prisoners and their children exist but have not been evaluated. This study will determine the impact of exposure to a family-friendly prison environment on health, child protection and justice outcomes for incarcerated mothers and their dependent children.
Methods and analysis A longitudinal retrospective cohort design will be used to compare outcomes for mothers incarcerated at Boronia Pre-release Centre, a women’s prison with a dedicated family-friendly environment, and their dependent children, with outcomes for mothers incarcerated at other prisons in Western Australia (that do not offer this environment) and their dependent children. Routinely collected administrative data from 1985 to 2013 will be used to determine child and mother outcomes such as hospital admissions, emergency department presentations, custodial sentences, community service orders and placement in out-of home care. The sample consists of all children born in Western Australia between 1 January 1985 and 31 December 2011 who had a mother in a West Australian prison between 1990 and 2012 and their mothers. Children are included if they were alive and aged less than 18 years at the time of their mother’s incarceration. The sample comprises an exposed group of 665 women incarcerated at Boronia and their 1714 dependent children and a non-exposed comparison sample of 2976 women incarcerated at other West Australian prisons and their 7186 dependent children, creating a total study sample of 3641 women and 8900 children.
Ethics and dissemination This project received ethics approval from the Western Australian Department of Health Human Research Ethics Committee, the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee and the University of Western Australia Human Research Ethics Committee.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere016302
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Volume7
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

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Prisons
Social Justice
Health Policy
Cohort Studies
Mothers
Western Australia
Prisoners
Research Ethics Committees
Health
Ethics
Child Health
Ethics Committees
Social Welfare
Home Care Services
Hospital Emergency Service

Cite this

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title = "Impact of family-friendly prison policies on health, justice and child protection outcomes for incarcerated mothers and their dependent children: a cohort study protocol",
abstract = "Introduction Female imprisonment has numerous health and social sequelae for both women prisoners and their children. Examples of comprehensive family-friendly prison policies that seek to improve the health and social functioning of women prisoners and their children exist but have not been evaluated. This study will determine the impact of exposure to a family-friendly prison environment on health, child protection and justice outcomes for incarcerated mothers and their dependent children.Methods and analysis A longitudinal retrospective cohort design will be used to compare outcomes for mothers incarcerated at Boronia Pre-release Centre, a women’s prison with a dedicated family-friendly environment, and their dependent children, with outcomes for mothers incarcerated at other prisons in Western Australia (that do not offer this environment) and their dependent children. Routinely collected administrative data from 1985 to 2013 will be used to determine child and mother outcomes such as hospital admissions, emergency department presentations, custodial sentences, community service orders and placement in out-of home care. The sample consists of all children born in Western Australia between 1 January 1985 and 31 December 2011 who had a mother in a West Australian prison between 1990 and 2012 and their mothers. Children are included if they were alive and aged less than 18 years at the time of their mother’s incarceration. The sample comprises an exposed group of 665 women incarcerated at Boronia and their 1714 dependent children and a non-exposed comparison sample of 2976 women incarcerated at other West Australian prisons and their 7186 dependent children, creating a total study sample of 3641 women and 8900 children.Ethics and dissemination This project received ethics approval from the Western Australian Department of Health Human Research Ethics Committee, the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee and the University of Western Australia Human Research Ethics Committee.",
keywords = "child protection; epidemiology; health policy; mental health",
author = "Helen Myers and Leonie Segal and Derrick Lopez and Ian Li and David Preen",
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language = "English",
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journal = "BMJ (Open)",
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T1 - Impact of family-friendly prison policies on health, justice and child protection outcomes for incarcerated mothers and their dependent children

T2 - a cohort study protocol

AU - Myers, Helen

AU - Segal, Leonie

AU - Lopez, Derrick

AU - Li, Ian

AU - Preen, David

PY - 2017/8

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N2 - Introduction Female imprisonment has numerous health and social sequelae for both women prisoners and their children. Examples of comprehensive family-friendly prison policies that seek to improve the health and social functioning of women prisoners and their children exist but have not been evaluated. This study will determine the impact of exposure to a family-friendly prison environment on health, child protection and justice outcomes for incarcerated mothers and their dependent children.Methods and analysis A longitudinal retrospective cohort design will be used to compare outcomes for mothers incarcerated at Boronia Pre-release Centre, a women’s prison with a dedicated family-friendly environment, and their dependent children, with outcomes for mothers incarcerated at other prisons in Western Australia (that do not offer this environment) and their dependent children. Routinely collected administrative data from 1985 to 2013 will be used to determine child and mother outcomes such as hospital admissions, emergency department presentations, custodial sentences, community service orders and placement in out-of home care. The sample consists of all children born in Western Australia between 1 January 1985 and 31 December 2011 who had a mother in a West Australian prison between 1990 and 2012 and their mothers. Children are included if they were alive and aged less than 18 years at the time of their mother’s incarceration. The sample comprises an exposed group of 665 women incarcerated at Boronia and their 1714 dependent children and a non-exposed comparison sample of 2976 women incarcerated at other West Australian prisons and their 7186 dependent children, creating a total study sample of 3641 women and 8900 children.Ethics and dissemination This project received ethics approval from the Western Australian Department of Health Human Research Ethics Committee, the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee and the University of Western Australia Human Research Ethics Committee.

AB - Introduction Female imprisonment has numerous health and social sequelae for both women prisoners and their children. Examples of comprehensive family-friendly prison policies that seek to improve the health and social functioning of women prisoners and their children exist but have not been evaluated. This study will determine the impact of exposure to a family-friendly prison environment on health, child protection and justice outcomes for incarcerated mothers and their dependent children.Methods and analysis A longitudinal retrospective cohort design will be used to compare outcomes for mothers incarcerated at Boronia Pre-release Centre, a women’s prison with a dedicated family-friendly environment, and their dependent children, with outcomes for mothers incarcerated at other prisons in Western Australia (that do not offer this environment) and their dependent children. Routinely collected administrative data from 1985 to 2013 will be used to determine child and mother outcomes such as hospital admissions, emergency department presentations, custodial sentences, community service orders and placement in out-of home care. The sample consists of all children born in Western Australia between 1 January 1985 and 31 December 2011 who had a mother in a West Australian prison between 1990 and 2012 and their mothers. Children are included if they were alive and aged less than 18 years at the time of their mother’s incarceration. The sample comprises an exposed group of 665 women incarcerated at Boronia and their 1714 dependent children and a non-exposed comparison sample of 2976 women incarcerated at other West Australian prisons and their 7186 dependent children, creating a total study sample of 3641 women and 8900 children.Ethics and dissemination This project received ethics approval from the Western Australian Department of Health Human Research Ethics Committee, the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee and the University of Western Australia Human Research Ethics Committee.

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