Beyond Barbed Wire Program

Children need safe, strong, and nurturing families in order to thrive.

What is Beyond Barbed Wire?

Beyond Barbed Wire is a specialist program for mums who are in prison and helps to prepare them for their return to their family and community. The program works towards creating safe futures for children by supporting families, understanding their individual cultures and strengthening connections within communities.

To be eligible for the program you need to be a mum with children residing in Western NSW, in contact with the criminal justice system or have been released from a correctional centre.

Apply to join the program


What do we help you with?


Remain connected to children

We support mums to remain connected with their children while incarcerated, and post release

Develop parenting skills

Empowering mums to develop the knowledge and skills needed to parent their children while incarcerated and post release

Help with social isolation

Reduce the experience of social isolation for mums leaving jail

Access support services

Connect mums, their children, and families with relevant support services upon release from gaol to reduce the experience of harms, re-offending, and recidivism

Reduce children in care

Reduce the numbers of children who experience Out-of-Home Care due to parental incarceration

"Beyond Barbed Wire have given me hope and the strength and support to keep going."


Outstanding outcomes for mothers

60 %

94.7% of women did not return to jail after 1 year

75 %
All women were supported into stable housing upon release from jail
75 %

94% of women reported an increased sense of purpose and hope

Three Wise Women Coffee Cart
Play Video about Three Wise Women Coffee Cart

See the program in action:
Three Wise Women coffee cart

“Well, this is our social enterprise: the Three Wise Women coffee cart. We use the coffee cart to train mums to gain employment skills, job skills and self-confidence.”

“It’s actually giving people that have come out of jail the opportunity to come back into the workforce.”

“Once I made it out I thought: nah, that’s it, I’m done for. That’s my life done. But Shiree and the girls are showing me it’s not the case at all. Made my way back into work.”

“Fat Poppy provide all of our coffee beans. They really are coffee that cares. I think the most important thing, besides being a fabulous barista, is those skills that we take for granted sometimes like confidence, money handling, and it’s just fantastic to see women come on board and just throw this amazing amount of confidence.”

“Seeing people smile, give them a good coffee and they just smile, their faces light up.”


Beyond Barbed Wire services

Information, advocacy and supported referrals – No Wrong Door

This program provides different support services such as information, advice and referrals through supported case coordination and case management, depending on each family’s needs.

Social enterprise in community – training and work experience

We offer targeted training and employment opportunities for mums who are or have been in contact with the criminal justice system. Participants have opportunities to develop skills and gain experience by hosting events in community with the Three Wise Women mobile cafe.

Parenting and life skills programs in custody

Parenting programs provide information and examples about child development, strategies for helping children at school and at home, learning through play and other practical support.

Case management model

Including: weekly home visiting, specialist referrals to health services, legal services and therapeutic services such as psychologists and residential treatment programs, Court support, links to community networks and activities, mentor support, early learning enrolments, supported playgroups, after-school activities for children, education, and training opportunities.

Short stay transitional accommodation

Short-term (1-3 months) supported accommodation for mums who are in contact with the criminal justice system or are being released from custody. Women, who meet the eligibility criteria and have dependent children, will be given priority. It is not an Emergency Accommodation Service.

Mentoring program

We match mums leaving custody with a trained volunteer in their local community. This helps reduce the experience of isolation and builds strong connections to the community in a supportive environment.

Community and sector education

This program facilitates a range of community and sector training/professional development workshops across NSW. These workshops include barista training, Hearts Inside and Visiting Prisons for Children, Young People and Carers.

Could you benefit from Beyond Barbed Wire?

Check out our full eligibility criteria and apply for you or refer someone you know.

Apply to join the program