Acknowledgement of Country

The National Network of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls (NN/The Network/The National Network) acknowledge that our activities span over the lands of many Nations who never ceded sovereignty. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners, their Elders past and present, who have been practicing forms of community-based justice since the very first sunrise. As an abolitionist group we acknowledge that the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) was imposed on these lands through hostile colonial takeover and that the criminal legal system is maintained due to the continued dispossession and genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

The National Network

of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls

The National Network of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls (NN/The Network/The National Network) is an organisation made up of ciswomen, transwomen, gender diverse people, and girls who are currently incarcerated or have been in cages across so-called Australia. We aim to end the incarceration, exile, surveillance and punishment of women and girls by organising against the intersecting gendered, racial and class violence that produce prisons and police. We are committed to Indigenous sovereignty which requires the abolition of the Prison-Industrial-Complex (PIC), and we believe that only women and girls who have been trapped in cages across so-called Australia should be determining the terms through which we endeavour to free all women and girls in cages.

Our Values and Vision

We reject all forms of punishment and exile, specifically prisons and policing which exist to enforce and maintain the colonial occupation of Indigenous lands and uphold the existing social order that is based on gendered, class and racial hierarchies.  

We are determined to dismantle the PIC to end the trauma and violence that it continues to inflict upon Black bodies, Black families, Black communities and Black lands. The PIC maintains white supremacy by killing Indigenous women in custody and stealing children from their mothers. We believe that centering the sovereignty of Black women in our organisation will lead to the liberation of all women and girls, as well as all incarcerated people.  

We believe that women and girls who are or have been incarcerated are best placed to carve out liberatory pathways to the incarceration and punishment of women and girls. The collective  knowledge that we bring from inside the cages are invaluable assets which we will mobilise towards  tearing down the prison walls and breaking the shackles as we build bridges from walls that once  caged us. 

We have been denied the ability to have agency over our lives and bodies through the dehumanising processes of criminalisation and incarceration and we are committed to taking back power over the decisions that impact our lives, our bodies, our families, and our communities.  

By creating a political space exclusively for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women we can seek to undo and repair the trauma that incarceration has inflicted upon us by fostering an empathic, understanding, and supportive community which will fiercely defend its members and go into battle without flinching to create the changes we would like to see for our communities and families.  

We are committed to becoming the eyes, ears and voice of women and girls who have been targeted by the punishment system in so-called Australia. We will be unapologetic in our demands for a different society. 

We are committed to organise and speak out against any reforms that expand the PIC or leave certain groups behind. We do not support the criminalisation of coercive control or other carceral feminist reforms and we reject attempts to soften incarceration through trauma informed, gender-responsive, or culturally safe prisons. We do not support reformist measures such as, bodycams, police oversight, and all diversion and jurisprudence courts, as this requires funding which expands and sustains the PIC. We do support legal measures that reduce the scope of the PIC such as decriminalisation, Bail reform, banning spit hoods and banning strip searches.  

We are committed to the community education of both ourselves and the broader public. We will challenge the community to think creatively to imagine possibilities beyond bars. We will challenge ourselves through continuous collective growth.  

We are committed to ongoing anti-oppressive practices within all our interactions with each other and people outside the organisation. This includes centering women who are typically marginalised in society including LGBTQIA+, Indigenous women, women of colour, single mothers, elderly women, women with disabilities, women who use substances, refugees, and asylum seekers. We reject sexism, homophobia, whorephobia, substance use stigma, transphobia, racism, classism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, ableism or any other form of bigotry or violence towards non normative identities.  

Respect, generosity, and honesty define our relationships with one another, and a commitment to the values, vision and processes of the collective will assist in fostering a positive culture.  

We look at conflict and tension as an opportunity for growth and learning and we are committed to  engage in the formal resolution processes set out by the organisation should a conflict impact the  operations of the group.  

We will channel our collective rage and anger towards the system to build a world focussed on abundance and healing rather than scarcity and harm.

What we Do and why

The Voice of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls

What does The Network do? Well, in short we represent the interests of our sisters who have been, or are currently trapped in cages. The National Network is a membership organisation and so our member initiatives shape the work that we do. Because of this what we do will change over time based on our members. At the moment, we are focusing on critiquing policy, and shifting the narratives that are made about us. We welcome all initiatives by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and girls who uphold our shared values and vision. We are always seeking to develop our activities that are aimed at changing the systems and structures that sustain prisons, police and borders.

Government submissions AND consultation

At The Network we believe that the married forces of the government and the private sector cause our experiences of violence. Due to our intimacy with this violence, we are the experts in how to dismantle it. While, “the masters tools will never dismantle the masters house”, providing an abolitionist critique of policy can expose who policy really serves to protect.


Until we are the holders of the pen that writes our futures, that is, until we own and control our own representations, our stories will be left untold. With this in mind, also engaging with the mainstream media through interviews, appearances, and media releases can help with political pressure and it can be an excellent way to show solidarity with our sisters inside.

Podcasts, research, workshops, information resources & More!

The National Networks Works in Progress

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