Power with sisters inside

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  • Published 20040302
  • ISBN: 9780733313868
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

ON JANUARY 7, 1990, Australia’s only murder inside a women’s prison occurred at Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre at Boggo Road. The old jail, overcrowded and dilapidated, had been simmering with barely contained tension for some time. Many of the 106 women were locked together; two to a cell, in the “bottom” section of the jail behind a gate that prison officers chose to keep shut, restricting the already minimal movement of prisoners and ensuring a tinderbox environment of festering pressures.

It was a humid, soupy Brisbane summer. In the aftermath of the festive season it was a high-stress time – mothers locked away from their children, women separated from other loved ones. As I remember it, it was an afternoon heavy with threat – if someone looked at another person the wrong way, we knew they’d blow.

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