Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Corrective Services; Industrial Relations

Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Attorney General; Minister for Electoral Affairs

Hon Sabine Winton BA BPS MLA

Hon Sabine Winton BA BPS MLA

Minister for Early Childhood Education; Child Protection; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services

    FDV program gives women prisoners a safe start on release

    19/05/2023 8:00 AM
    • Leave Safe Stay Safe program to help female prisoners affected by family and domestic violence
    • $2 million initiative gives prisoners legal, social and communications support before and after release
    • Three-year pilot includes allocation of smartphones preloaded with important contacts

    A new program being trialled in two Western Australian prisons will give women prisoners their best chance of breaking the cycle of family and domestic violence (FDV) when they are released.


    Under the Leave Safe, Stay Safe program, service providers will offer support to women nearing the end of their sentences who have identified as FDV victim-survivors.


    The women will be given one-on-one social support and legal advice to support them and their families when returning to the community.


    The three-year, $2 million trial is taking place at Bandyup Women's Prison and Greenough Regional Prison.


    Relationships Australia will be offering the women counselling, risk assessment and safety planning before and after release.


    Gosnells Community Legal Centre and Regional Alliance West will provide legal support, including help with the Family Court, child custody arrangements and applying for family violence restraining orders.


    The women engaged in the pilot will also learn about online safety from women's services network WESNET and upon release receive a 'clean' smartphone preloaded with important information and contacts.


    The Department of Justice, through the Office of the Commissioner for Victims of Crime, is managing the project which will be evaluated from early 2025.


    Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Bill Johnston:


    "This project was a State Government election commitment that is part of its strategy to tackle family and domestic violence, and I am pleased to see it become a reality.


    "I'm hopeful it will give some of our most marginalised and vulnerable women the chance to leave prison safely, and to stay safe on the outside."


    Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:


    "The social and legal support this program provides may make the difference in preventing someone being drawn back into an FDV environment.


    "Making the right choices can set these women on a path to a law-abiding, positive future, which benefits the community as a whole."


    Comments attributed to Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Sabine Winton:


    "Sadly, it's not uncommon for female prisoners to have experienced family and domestic violence.


    "Transitioning back into the community is difficult, so it's important these women are supported with practical tools and useful support services to help keep themselves and their families safe."


    Minister's office - 6552 6700