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Soroptimist (UK), in partnership with the Prison Reform Trust, will today (Wednesday 15th May 2013) launch an action pack at a reception at the Pierhead in Cardiff to support their initiative to reduce women’s imprisonment across the UK.

More than eight out of ten of sentenced women entering prison have been convicted of non-violent offences. Many have young children. Many have themselves been the victims of serious crime, including domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape.

 

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Commenting on the government’s plans announced in the Queen’s Speech to extend probation supervision to short sentenced prisoners, Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“According to government figures, community sentences are better at cutting reoffending than a short spell behind bars. So, rather than use prison as a gateway to rehabilitation for over 50,000 petty offenders, the Justice Secretary should ensure that cost effective, robust community penalties are available to all courts in England and Wales.

“For those whose offending is so serious to warrant up to a year in custody, then supervision, support and drug treatment on release make some sense. There is a downside: a year of demands and an inflexible approach to breach of license conditions could refill our prisons and spin people through the revolving door of prison and crime.”

“Payment by results is untried and untested in the criminal justice system. Reform should be properly thought through and based on evidence of what works. The government should build on best practice rather than risk fragmenting the probation service and undermining the vital role played by small voluntary organisations in the delivery of services for vulnerable offenders. Is it wise to widen the ambit of the criminal justice industry when many of the solutions to crime lie in prevention, housing, employment, mental health and social care and treatment for addictions?”


Click read more to read our submissions to the Transforming Rehabilitation consultation.


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Commenting on the government’s proposed reforms to the Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme, Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“Tough political talk, budget cuts and reduced staffing levels are all piling pressure on prisons and prisoners. However new proposals to focus on the first two weeks in custody, the riskiest time for vulnerable people, present an opportunity to ensure proper induction and enable prisoners to make best use of their time behind bars.

Click read more to see the full comment.

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Soroptimist (UK), in partnership with the Prison Reform Trust, will today (Thursday 25 April 2013) launch an action pack at a reception in the House of Commons to support the Soroptimists’ initiative to reduce women’s imprisonment in the UK.

Click this link to find out more and download the pack

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Adult social care services have a vital, and often overlooked, role in supporting the large number of people with multiple needs who offend to desist from crime, according to a new joint briefing by the Prison Reform Trust, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Centre for Mental Health and Revolving Doors Agency.

Click this link to read more and download the report 

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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.

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A new briefing by the free market thinktank, Reform, sets out to reignite the debate about the role of the private sector in our prisons.

Read our response to the report's findings here.

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KeepOut, an innovative crime diversion scheme delivered by dedicated teams of serving prisoners, has won the inaugural Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation 2013.

 

 


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A new report released today by the Prison Reform Trust and YoungMinds reveals that high numbers of vulnerable children with mental health needs and learning disabilities are getting caught up in the criminal justice system. The charities found that children who offend have health, care and education needs which, if not met, could lead to a lifetime of ill health, unemployment and crime.

 


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Most foreign national women in custody in England and Wales who have been trafficked into offending are not getting the help and support to which they are entitled as victims of crime, a University of Cambridge report reveals.

The report’s authors found violence, intimidation and rape were common experiences of the women, but evidence of their suffering was often overlooked and they did not receive the protection guaranteed to them as victims of human trafficking under international law. In only one of the cases of human trafficking identified by the researchers did victim disclosures result in a full police investigation in relation to the actions of the perpetrators.

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