Social and Cultural Resilience and Emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal Mothers in prison (SCREAM)

Project Main Description

The ‘Social and Cultural Resilience and Emotional Wellbeing of Aboriginal Mothers in Prison’ study is a four-year National Health and Medical Research Council funded project based in New South Wales (NSW) and Western Australia (WA). The project is known by its acronym, SCREAM, in NSW and by its full title in WA. The study has two parts:

  • Phase One of the study is the consultation phase. It incorporates extensive consultation with stakeholders across NSW and WA and the formation of project advisory groups to guide the research in Phase Two. Informed by stakeholder knowledge, Phase One involves the setting up of the project infrastructure, development of a consultation and communication strategy, development of data collection tools and participant information and consent materials, and completion of seven separate Human Research Ethics Committee approval processes.
  • Phase Two of the study is the operational phase. It incorporates ongoing community consultation through the project advisory groups, the recruitment of participants, collection and analysis of data, and the dissemination of findings.


The project is a mixed methods study including a social and emotional wellbeing questionnaire, in-depth interviews, focus group interviews, analysis of policy and procedural documents and ongoing stakeholder consultation. The data collection for the project is primarily based in NSW and WA prisons with a female population. In NSW, these centres are: Broken Hill Correctional Centre, Dillwynia Correctional Centre, Emu Plains Correctional Centre, Mid North Coast Correctional Centre, Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre and Wellington Correctional Centre in NSW. In WA, these centres are: Bandyup Women’s Prison, Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women, Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison, Greenough Regional Prison and West Kimberley Regional Prison.

The outcomes of the research will include specific recommendations for models of care for Aboriginal women in prison and post-release, increased capacity among Aboriginal female researchers in the field of public health and prison health, and recommendations for professional development and skills training among health and correctional workers.

Opportunities for early intervention to prevent fragmentation and disintegration of the family, grief, stigma, financial hardship, and the psychological trauma which leads to offending behaviour will be identified, with the research providing a platform for policy and practice change.

Having established the project advisory groups in NSW and WA and with approval from the seven Human Research Ethics Committees: Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council, Justice Health NSW, Corrective Services NSW, Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee, Curtin University, University of New South Wales and University of Technology Sydney, the research is now in Phase Two.  The study will conclude in 2014.

Project Supporters

National Health & Medical Research Council - Project Grant|630653

Project Collaborators: External

Professor Juanita Marion Sherwood
University of Technology Sydney

Miss Jocelyn Jones
National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University

Dr Mandy Wilson
National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University

Associate Professor Marisa Gilles
Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health

Professor Michael Levy
College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, Austalian National University

Project Contacts

Related Projects

Back to Top