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The Centre for Justice Innovation spoke to Katy Swaine Williams, a research and policy consultant, who (initially as part of her work with the Prison Reform Trust's Transforming Lives programme) has been working to support the development of a new problem-solving approach in London for women in contact with the criminal justice system.

Read the full Q&A here.

Click here for our factsheet on the use of imprisonment for women in London.

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The most recent Safety in Custody statistics from the Ministry of Justice were published on 28 January, and make for grim reading. For example, the number of self-harm incidents in the male estate decreased by 7% in the 12 months to September 2020. The number of incidents in the women's estate increased by 8%.

Click here for Russell Webster's helpful summary of the data.

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Today, Kate Paradine (Women in Prison) and Joy Doal (Anawim) have appeared on Woman's Hour alongside Lucy Frazer MP to discuss the reaction to the government's recent annoucement of 500 new prison places in women's prisons.

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New figures from the Ministry of Justice reveal the number of self-harm incidents in women's prisons has hit another record high, rising by 8% in a year.

There were 12,443 incidents recorded in the year to September - up from 11,482. In comparison, self-harm incidents in male prisons dropped by around 7%.

Read more about these worrying figures in the Independent.

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"The government's decision to ditch initial plans to decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence fee will disproportionately hit women due to them being substantially more likely to be convicted for not paying the sum, campaigners have warned."

Read the full article in the Independent here.

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Commenting on today’s funding announcement by the Ministry of Justice, Emily Evison, policy officer at the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“Reducing the women’s prison population is a central plank of the government’s female offenders strategy. Even a temporary rise in women’s prison numbers will be a mark of failure. Instead of planning for a rise, the government should redouble its efforts to ensure women are not being sent to prison to serve pointless short sentences. The national concordat provides a welcome framework for cross-government working to improve outcomes for women. However, it will need backing by action on the ground to ensure the effective coordination of services. The additional funding is welcome as far as it goes but doesn’t end the need for more sustainable funding of women’s services in the long term.”

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