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

Comment and Analysis

Nov9 09/11/2016 11:50:00 by Zoey

Eric Allison writes for the Guardian about the Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss' prison reform white paper unveiled on 3 November 2016. The paper announces the creation of five new community prisons to house women ahead of release.

In his article, Allison looks at the work being undertaken in Scotland and speaks to Transforming Lives Programme Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Yvonne Donald, who comments that:
“There are still too may women being sent to prison for minor offences, including on remand and for short sentences...[but] the Scottish government’s reforms are heading very much in the right direction.”

A decade on from the Corston Report on women in the criminal justice system, it seems that the importance of community support and services are finally being recognised in Scotland as well as providing a good example for the Justice Secretary's proposals for women in England and Wales

You can read the full Guardian article here.

For more information on women in the criminal justice system in Scotland, you can access the Transforming Lives: Scotland report here.

Nov1 01/11/2016 00:00:00 by Jenny Talbot

Jenny Talbot blogs about her recently published report Leading change: the role of local authorities in supporting women with multiple needs. The report was written in partnership with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Centre for Mental Health, and Education Policy Institute.

The report is a strategic guide for council officers and locally elected members from councils across England. It sets out the case for change and suggests practical ways in which local authorities can prioritise and address the needs of some of the most vulnerable citizens in their local area.

Sep23 23/09/2016 09:51:00 by Jenny Earle

Jenny Earle blogs for the Huffington Post on the housing needs for women in the criminal justice system as we launch our 'Home Truths' report.

Aug11 11/08/2016 11:59:00 by Jenny Earle

In his online Guardian article ‘Women are dying in jails they should not have been sent to’, Eric Allison draws attention to the shocking surge in women’s deaths in prison, and calls for Government action to ‘stem the tide’.

Jenny Earle blogs about how now is the opportunity for Government to establish a women's centre on the site of HMP Holloway.

Aug2 02/08/2016 13:05:00 by Zoey

Sirin Kale writes for Vice magazine about the recent news story of a women being refused pants and sanitary products  for days at a Kentucky Jail.

Prison Reform Trust Programme Director Jenny Earle comments in the article that "because women are a small minority of those involved in the criminal justice system, their particular needs are often not met.These include mental health needs—often because women have been the victims of childhood sexual abuse or domestic violence—as well as support for exiting violent or coercive relationships, and addiction issues."

Jenny also informs the reporter that Rule Five of the UN Bangkok Rules (of which the USA is a signatory)  specifies that "The accommodation of women prisoners shall have facilities and materials required to meet women's specific hygiene needs, including sanitary towels provided free of charge."

Read the article online here.

A handy guide to the Bangkok Rules produced by Penal Reform International can be accessed here.

Aug1 01/08/2016 15:50:00 by Yvonne & Zoey

On 20 June, Prison Reform Trust convened a roundtable to discuss women in Scotland on custodial remand.

The event was held at the University of Strathclyde and chaired by Professor Nancy Loucks OBE, from our partner organisation Families Outside. PRT's incoming Director Peter Dawson welcomed all participants, and a presentation was given by both Professor Michele Burman on the current landscape of remand in Scotland and Dr Hannah Graham on electronic monitoring as an alternative to custody for women in Scotland.