The Case for Sustainable Funding for Women’s Centres

Date Posted: Monday 19th October 2020

Women’s Centres are specialist community-based support services for women facing multiple disadvantages, including women involved in or at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system.

The report, The Case for Sustainable Funding for Women’s Centres highlights the staggering savings that can be made by investing in Women’s Centres, the financial cost of the current model and its failure to address the root causes of women’s offending, leading to a ‘revolving door’ of imprisonment.

Key findings:

  • A place at a Woman’s Centre ranges from £1,223 to £4,125 per woman depending on needs, whilst a place in prison costs £52,121
  • It is estimated that £1.7bn is spent on issues linked to female offending, whilst in the long term £2.84 is saved for every £1 spent on women’s centres
  • The Women’s Centre model shows one centre making a saving of £18 million over a 5-year period.
  • An initial review of 15 women’s services specialist providers has revealed a £10m gap in core funding for Women’s Centres for the year from March 2021. For many, this funding ‘cliff edge’ and the inability to plan beyond the short-term, risks the closure of vital support services for women who might otherwise end up in custody.

The report was written by Women’s Budget Group and in collaboration with Women in Prison, Brighton Women’s Centre, Anawim – Birmingham’s Centre for Women, The Nelson Trust and Together Women. The report calls on the government to deliver the objectives of the Government’s Female Offender Strategy by reducing the number of women in prison through investing in Women’s Centres.

Access the full report here