Many women involved with the criminal justice system receive short-term sentences and some move through this cycle several times. Lack of employment or income security and low levels of education and skills were identified by participants as factors in this cycle of custodial sentences. For younger women and girls, there is poor reintegration back to the society for example into schools or education programmes after a custodial sentence. Many women are involved in petty crimes and financial insecurity is often worsened after being in custody for any length of time, which pulls women back into re-offending upon release. There is limited development of support networks and friendships in prison due to varied perceptions over incarceration and tribal backgrounds, and some tribes and families have a culture of shunning women after release from prison, which can lead to homelessness, absence from children’s lives and further issues of crime and violence victimisation.
P-BLD participants identified that whilst women are in custody, it is an opportunity to help them to change their mindsets about their lives and their opportunities, and to challenge their perceptions about tribal boundaries and violence.