The Privatisation Era

  • Bree CarltonEmail author
  • Emma K. Russell


This chapter investigates the relatively short-lived period of almost total privatisation of the women’s prison system in Victoria, from 1996 until 2000. The Victorian State Government’s embrace of neoliberal models of privatisation in many sectors, not only prisons, demanded that anti-carceral feminists come to terms with and build critiques of a burgeoning political economy of the transnational prison industrial complex. While Australia in general and Victoria in particular have sustained a radical and widespread programme of prison privatisation to this day, outstripping the US in terms of the proportion of prisoners incarcerated in privately run facilities, the excesses of violence and dysfunction at the Metropolitan Women’s Correctional Centre under the management of Corrections Corporation of Australia prompted a dramatic state government takeover of the facility after four years of private operation. Despite this ‘success’ for the anti-private prison campaign waged for almost a decade by activists, the legacy of the privatisation era in women’s imprisonment is still palpable—for it heralded a new regime of surveillance, securitisation and carceral expansion that has only been extended in the government’s hands.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Criminology, School of Humanities and Social SciencesDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Crime, Justice and Legal Studies, School of Humanities and Social SciencesLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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