“Prison journeys” – Exploring the distances between prisons and prisoners’ family members

Dr Kirsten Besemer1,Lacey Schaefer & Susan Dennison

1Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Australia,

Regular family visitation is often associated with improved outcomes for offenders. However, due to Australia’s vast geography, prisoners and their families may be hundreds of kilometres apart. Qualitative research shows that long travel times and high travel costs can be a great burden on prisoners’ family members, who may thus be less likely to visit regularly.  Indigenous Australians, who are more likely to live in remote areas, are especially disadvantaged by the metropolitan locations most prisons are in. This study uses data from an Australian survey to explore what kinds of families, in which Australian States, are most severely affected by long travel distances. We consider how such travel distances could affect prisoners’ re-entry processes.


Kirsten Besemer is a Lecturer at Griffith University. Her research uses representative national Australian data sources to identify short- and long-term effects of imprisonment on prisoners’ family members.


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