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Collateral damage: the impact of incarceration on family members

The aim of this research is to develop a conceptual framework to examine the issues and difficulties for families of prisoners in Western Australia, with special attention to those issues affecting:

  • Children of prisoners;
  • Caregivers of prisoners children;
  • Partners of prisoners;
  • Parenting of prisoners (both juvenile and adult offenders); and
  • Indigenous families (all issues above considered for families of indigenous prisoners).

The HoPE research project asked the prisoners questions on their contact with their family members. They identified some of the concerns they have whilst incarcerated and when they return to the community.

The research has also identified the family have a significant influence on reoffending rates and those who maintain contact with and return to families are less likely to return to prison. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the issues and difficulties faced by families when a member is incarcerated.

Collateral Damage is the first step for an ongoing field of research as prisoners face imprisonment, whilst incarcerated and then return to the community.


Industry partners

Corrective Services and Outcare

Funding body

Edith Cowan University


  • Literature review - September 2007 - August 2009
  • Project - March 2010 - April 2012
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