Transforming women’s imprisonment in Aotearoa by proposing an open prison model

This research project is exploring alternative approaches for women imprisonment including a rigorous assessment of open prison models.

About the project

Reports and investigations have highlighted issues related to New Zealand prisons with particular concerns about women’s prisons. This research proposes to explore ‘Could we have an open prison for women in Aotearoa and, if so, what work would it do and what would it look like, particularly within a kaupapa Māori framework?’

The project will explore the current situation of women’s prisons in New Zealand, examine open prisons for women in other countries including successes and risks, consult with a wide range of stakeholders and develop a series of papers and a proposal for an alternative model.


Grant amount

$72,000 over 6 months for work in 2021 – 2022


About the grantee

Dr Liz Gordon, of Pūkeko Research, is leading this project with expertise from Dr Catherine Love. Dr Liz Gordon is a social analyst, community researcher, columnist and writer with expertise in law, justice and inequality. Dr Catherine Love, Te Atiawa nui tonu, Taranaki, Ngati Ruanui, Nga Ruahinerangi, is a psychologist and research consultant and a leading advocate for wāhine Māori in Aotearoa.



Open Prison project website