Commenting on the Justice Minister Helen Grant’s announcement in Parliament today of measures to provide a greater focus on the support and rehabilitation of female offenders, Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:
The Minister’s announcement should be a catalyst for coordinated cross-government action to reduce women’s prison numbers. Over 10,000 women were sent to prison every year, most to serve short sentences for non-violent crimes. Many women in prison have themselves been the victims of serious crime, including domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape. Mental health problems, drug and alcohol addiction and self-harm are particularly common among women in prison. Each year, more than 17,000 children are separated from their mothers by imprisonment.