News

Today's edition of the Guardian (3 May) reported that the Ministry of Justice has postponed the publication of its long awaited strategy for women offenders, according to a Whitehall source. The story was also covered by BBC Radio 4's World at One.

Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust is quoted in the article. In his full comment he said:

"It's no secret that the Ministry of Justice is broke. Abandoning previous pledges to build new prisons for both men and women looks inevitable as a result. But the very long promised strategy for women offenders is an opportunity to do something more cost effective instead. Support in the community offers better public protection at a fraction of the cost of prisons. Because women are disproportionately sent to prison for short periods as a result of non-violent offences, the dividend of a new approach could be realised quickly.

"It would beggar belief if the justice secretary really wanted to rethink a change in approach that everyone with knowledge of the issues, and his own junior minister, supports. He would be throwing away the chance not only to change the lives of thousands of women and their families, but also to make a small dent in the massive financial problem that the government's obsession with prison represents."

Peter has written to the Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke, to seek clarification and reassurance that the strategy will be published before Parliament's summer recess.

Click here to download Peter's letter to David Gauke.