Human Rights Abuses and Discrimination against Women in the criminal justice system in New South Wales

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Abstract
It is documented that imprisonment rates of women have been increasing rapidly, both worldwide and in Australia, over the past decade. Discrimination against women may help to account for their increased numbers in the criminal justice system, but is also a concern in its own right. Looking at the context of New South Wales, we explore how women are subject to direct and indirect discrimination based on sex, race and disability in the police, court and prison systems. Changes in legislation and practices within the system over the past two decades have impacted negatively upon particular groups of people, especially upon poor and racialised women and women with mental or cognitive health concerns. Further to this, practices such as strip searching have a pernicious effect on women in custody. These developments, along with other practices imposed upon women in the criminal justice system, are argued to constitute systemic discrimination.
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Author(s)
Baldry, Eileen
Armstrong, Karen
Chartrand, Vicki
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Publication Year
2007
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Journal Article
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