prison, incarceration, women prisoners, mothers, education, parenting programs


This scoping review addresses the question, what are the outcomes of existing prison parenting education programs for women experiencing incarceration and what can we learn? The framework used was based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). Significant positive changes were identified after attending prison parenting programs and women generally provided positive feedback about their experiences however, there were also insights into the distress caused. The content covered in the programs is also explored. In conclusion, prison can be an opportunity for parenting education and support although currently the best way to provide this support to women has not been established. This review gives insight to those wanting to develop a parenting program specifically for women.

Author Bio

Belinda Lovell (corresponding author) has twelve years’ experience as a clinical nurse and midwife, experience in clinical teaching, University teaching, research and parent education. She has a Master’s degree and is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of South Australia. PhD candidate, BNurs, MMid, IBLCE.

Dr. Angela Brown is the Clinical Program Coordinator at UniSA, Board Director for The Australian College of Midwives and Midwifery representative for RANZCOG's Women's Health Committee. She has twenty years of experience as a Clinical Midwife and Clinical Nurse (acute care). Her research interests include cultural safety and equitable health outcomes for Aboriginal women and babies, refugee health and wellbeing, development of evidence based obstetric guidelines and respectful maternity care. BNurs, BMid, MMid, MBA, PhD.

Professor Adrian Esterman is the Professor of Biostatistics and Foundation Chair of Biostatistics. He is the author of over 350 publications with an h-index of 60. Adrian provides advice on biostatistics and epidemiology to researchers in the Division of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia. He is the Chief Investigator on several research grants and has supervised 25 PhD students successfully to completion with two students winning the university prize for best thesis. PhD, MSc, BSc (hons), FACE, DLSHTM.

Professor Mary Steen has over 35 years clinical experience as a midwife and nurse and is a health educator and researcher. She is Chair of the Mothers, Babies and Families Research Group at UniSA and facilitates the promotion of research and scholarly activities, both nationally and internationally. She has presented at numerous national and international conferences, written over 100 peer reviewed articles (86 as first author), 18 chapters and authored, edited and contributed to a variety of books with interest in midwifery care, women’s health, family health, maternal health and well-being, healthy eating and lifestyles, managing emotions, family relationships; engaging fathers, parenting and family violence.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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