Corrective Services NSW

Women offenders

Female offenders are housed in six facilities across the state.

There are three designated women's centres, Silverwater Women's, Dillwynia and Emu Plains and female-only units at Broken Hill, Wellington and Mid North Coast.

There are also designated female beds at Long Bay Hospital.

A residential program for women with children operates at Jacaranda Cottages at Emu Plains and at the Parramatta Transitional Centre.

There are two transitional centres, Parramatta and Bolwara at Emu Plains.

Miruma in Cessnock is a residential facility for women who are diverted from custody who have mental health disorders and long-term alcohol and other drugs issues.

The 2009 Inmate Health Survey found the following about women in custody:

  • 45% have experienced domestic violence or abuse as an adult 
  • 38% consumed alcohol in a hazardous or harmful way in the year prior to incarceration, with 16% showing signs of dependent drinking
  • 78% have used an illicit drug and 52% had injected drugs
  • 20% have been admitted to a psychiatric unit or hospital
  • 27% have attempted suicide 
  • 49% are mothers of children aged 16 or under 
  • 45% left school prior to completing year 10 at an average age of 14 years 
  • 32% were in care as children
  • 67% were unemployed in the six months prior to incarceration; of these 25% had been unemployed for 10 or more years
  • 66% have been in violent relationships
  • 80% are current smokers

A fourth edition of Female Offenders: a Statistic​al Profile was produced by CSNSW's Corporate Research, Evaluation and Statistics Branch. This showed that the majority of women were in custody for illicit drug offences (23.7%) followed by property offences (18.3%). The third most common offence was Acts intended to cause Injury (16.2%). Among women under CSNSW supervision in the community the most common offences were theft (30.4%) and assault (30.3%). Driving offences were the third most common offence (17.6%).

Last updated:

11 May 2023

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