Jennifer (not her real name), a mother and university graduate, says she would not have considered herself at risk of suicide or self harm when she entered the prison system earlier this year. Before February, when she was arrested for a crime committed more than 12 years ago, Jennifer was enjoying a successful academic career, leading a vibrant social life and flourishing in a stable, long-term relationship.

But after just six weeks in Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre -- a maximum security facility where remand detainees are housed alongside the state’s most dangerous women offenders -- her self-confidence, her outlook and her life are in tatters.