Comment

Comment, analysis and debate for those with an interest in the issues facing women in the criminal justice system...


Comment and Analysis

Jul13 13/07/2017 10:43:00 by Zoey

Women with poor mental health are being imprisoned unnecessarily. Some never make it out.

Heather Saul from iNews, spoke to Jenny Earle, Programme Director, and Dr Kimmett Edgar, Head of Research, about the 12 self-inflicted deaths in women's prisons in 2016.
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Jun2 02/06/2017 16:23:00 by Zoey

The Prison Reform Trust’s Active Citizens programme seeks to promote opportunities for prisoners to take on responsibility, engage in constructive work, and contribute to the life of the prison community.

The format is simple: the Prison Governor identifies a ‘problem’ for a working group of prisoners to work through and address, with facilitation from Prison Reform Trust staff.

Back in February, my colleague and I were set a task from a Governor at a women’s prison, to run four working groups with ten women to assess ‘how they can make the prison a community’. This was chosen as the Governor and his team recognised that to improve prison conditions, you must involve the people living in them.

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May17 17/05/2017 14:10:00 by Zoey

The Government’s White Paper on Prison Safety and Reform published in November 2016 promised that a strategy setting out how we will improve the treatment of female offenders in custody and community” would be published in 2017.

In response to a ‘call for evidence’ from the Ministry of Justice, earlier in May we submitted our proposals for a comprehensive programme of reforms that would deliver better outcomes for women, their families and communities.  Read our evidence here.
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May4 04/05/2017 10:38:00 by Zoey

Dr Kay Richmond, Chair of the Soroptimist International UK Programme Action Committee and member of Prison Reform Trust's Transforming Lives Advisory Group has blogged about the work Soroptimist clubs have been doing across the UK to disseminate the Transforming Lives (2014) report findings.

Kay discusses future work with Prison Reform Trust to help change the way women’s minor offending is addressed across the UK; focusing more on community-based solutions with an emphasis on diversion out of the criminal justice system, and on appropriate help for women in addressing the causes of offending.

Read Kay's blog here.
Mar24 24/03/2017 16:43:00 by Zoey

On the 3 November 2016, the Ministry of Justice published a White Paper ‘Prison Safety and Reform’ setting out the government’s vision for reform of the prison estate in England and Wales.  In relation to women, the White Paper committed to publishing a strategy to “improve the safety and reform of female offenders in custody and in the community”, and for “the creation of five small community prisons for women”.

In response to this, we have put a proposal to the Ministry of Justice to invest in a network of women's centres across England and Wales. Download the proposal here.

In 2015 the Justice Data Lab assessed the impact on re‐offending of support provided to female offenders by Women’s Centres throughout England.It showed a significant reduction in the number of women that reoffended who had support.




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Nov21 21/11/2016 10:30:00 by Zoey

Chair of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance Alison Frater blogs about a collaborative event at the Houses of Parliament on 25th October. The event, hosted by the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance and held in conjunction with Clinks, Prison Reform Trust and Agenda: Alliance for Women and Girls at Risk, saw a performance of Open Clasp’s ‘Key Change’ followed by a panel discussion.

Read the blog online here.

Alison Frater is an independent public health consultant, with particular expertise in women’s health. She was until recently  Head of Public Health and Health in the Justice System for NHS London, responsible for developing the strategy for women's health in the criminal justice system. Alison has expertise in research and implementation of evidence-based policy, with a strong focus on advocacy for social justice and reducing inequalities.  Alison is a visiting professor at Royal Holloway, University of London and a senior research fellow at the University of Southampton.  She was appointed Chair of the National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice in 2015, and is a champion of the role of the arts as a springboard to change. Alison is also a member of Prison Reform Trust's Transforming Lives Advisory Group.