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TaskForce played a key role in a forum at the Wheeler Centre on 24 October discussing ways to understand why more women are ending up in Victoria’s jails and to find solutions.

The forum – ‘Women’s Lived Experience in Decarceration and Carceral Resistance’ organised by the Fitzroy Legal Service – heard that there are 362 women in Victoria’s prisons and that 204 of them have not been sentenced.

Panel member, TaskForce’s Executive Manager Social Impact and Growth Lisa Abbott said: “We are incarcerating women at increasing rates yet the solutions are clear. “We must find ways, such as reform of Bail legislation and holistic community-based support, to ensure that the lives of women and their children are not ruined by unnecessary entrenchment in the justice system.”

TaskForce’s Lived Experience Advocate Lyanne Morel shared her experiences with the audience, highlighting the importance of connecting with the community and collaborative support. “What we should be doing is investing in social services, funding the community and creating better connections within the community.”

More than 200 people attended the forum – either in person on online – including magistrates, lawyers and women with experience in the justice system, either working with support services or from within the system itself.