Exploring the relationship between prisoner characteristics, prison characteristics and the prevelance and incidence of male prison offending in Western Australia.

Dr Catharine Phillips1, Dr Adrian J Scott1,2, Dr Pamela J Henry1

1Edith Cowan University, , ,

2Goldsmiths, University of London, ,

The research examined the relationship between a range of prisoner and prison characteristics and the prevalence and incidence of prison offences committed by a sample of male (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) prisoners in Western Australia.

Logistic and multiple regression analyses revealed that prisoners’ age and security ratings were significantly related to both the prevalence and incidence of prison offending. Having had parole denied, less years left to release, or having had a previous sentence of imprisonment were significantly related to the prevalence of prison  offending, as was having a most serious offence of a sexual nature; whilst being associated with a gang was significantly related to the incidence of prison offending.

Reducing prison offending by channelling resources to address specific risks associated with prison offending may improve the safety and  security of staff, prisoners and visitors, and improve rehabilitative  outcomes for prisoners, which may in turn improve community safety.


Dr Catharine Phillips is a passionate and professional industry practitioner and academic in the corrective services arena. She has worked at several custodial facilities within Western Australia in front line and managerial roles, including with women in prison and children in detention. She is committed to ensuring the safety and security of staff, prisoners and prisons; improving community safety, and achieving positive outcomes for prisoners under her care. Catharine is acutely aware of the importance of research in developing sound operational practice that assists practitioners to manage prisoners in custody to achieve positive rehabilitative outcomes whist reducing risks to staff and prisoners.

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