Source: (2009) Australia and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference 2009: Conference Proceedings. Pg. 41-50.

While there is a growing and important body of research examining post-release support, survival and issues related to recidivism and desistance there remains a dearth of knowledge about post-prison mortality, particularly research that seeks to focus beyond statistical analyses, ‘risk factors’ and epidemiological approaches to examine individual experiences surrounding death. The death of women post-release in Victoria is a sensitive issue that is currently neglected and abandoned within official research agendas and policy. In the 1990s Sue Davies and Sandy Cook documented the disproportionate rate at which women were dying after release and drew attention to the systemic factors that gave rise to increased vulnerability and risk. Since this time, rates of imprisonment for women have doubled in Victoria, while rates for indigenous Victorian women have increased by 150%. Legal advocates in Victoria characterise the physical and mental health of women in Victorian prisons as a ‘community and medical emergency’. However current circumstances surrounding post-release deaths among women are little documented. The ‘Surviving Outside’ research initiative commenced in 2009 with the support of multiple Victorian support agencies including Flat Out, Melbourne CityMission and VACRO. This paper will canvass methodological and ethical constraints faced by the researchers while highlighting preliminary themes and issues arising from the research to date. (Authors abstract).