Justice Committee: Inquiry on Women in Prison
Date Posted: Wednesday 8th December 2021
The Women’s Budget Group submitted a response to the Justice Select Committee on Women in Prison in June 2021.
Summary of WBG’s submission:
Women affected by the criminal justice system (CJS) often have a range of multiple, complex gendered needs that are different from men’s and require different responses.
The Ministry of Justice’s Female Offender Strategy (2018) recognised that prison exacerbates the conditions that lead women to come into contact with the CJS.
The National Concordat highlighted the need for specialist services designed for women and the Female Offender Strategy aims to reduce the use of custody and ensure that courts can have confidence in effective community sentences and support services which work for women.
It is generally agreed, across government and the CJS, that Women’s Centres represent the most effective support as part of alternatives to custody.
Despite recognition of the value of Women’s Centres, funding for these services remains inadequate and precarious.
Funding is often on a short-term basis leaving Women’s Centres unable to plan for the future and staff at constant risk of redundancy.
We recommend a model of matched funding in which central and local government share the costs of delivering the objectives in the Government’s Female Offender Strategy.