Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Arts and Sciences)

Schools and Centres

Arts & Sciences

First Supervisor

Dr Leigh Straw

Second Supervisor

Dr Sharon McCarthy


Boronia Women’s Pre-release Centre (Boronia) is a minimum-security level correctional facility located in Perth, Western Australia. Boronia has adopted a progressive/open imprisonment approach to incarceration that is fairly unique within the Southern Hemisphere. This thesis examines Boronia as a progressive/open prison via an illustrative case study analysis and investigates if it does produce a recidivism rate that is comparative to the international progressive/open prison sector. Boronia’s facilities, policies, programs and recidivism rates, are reviewed against two international progressive/open women’s prisons - “Ravneberget” in Norway, and “Ystad” in Sweden. Scandinavian prisons were chosen, as they are known for producing some of the world’s lowest recidivism rates. Issues analyzed included: guiding philosophies, facilities, programs operated and data concerning each prison’s recidivism rate, for example. national culture regarding imprisonment. The findings from this thesis indicate that Boronia is producing a recidivism rate comparable to the national rates of both Sweden and Norway, programs offered are similar, but there appears to be a gap in rehabilitation programs concerning anger management at Boronia. These observations infer that Boronia could in fact produce an even lower recidivism rate than what is currently produced.