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Listen to Dr Kate Paradine on Woman's Hour talking about Women in Prison's founder Chris Tchaikovksy and the experience of women in prison.

To listen click here.

For more information about the experience of women in prison click here.

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Today we published a letter we have received from the Secretary of State to Justice Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP QC regarding video calls in prison.

Responding to concerns raised by PRT of the risk that video calls might become a substitute for face-to-face visits, the Secretary of State provides assurance that "it is absolutely not the intention that video calling will be a substitute for face-to-face visits. Where face-to-face visits can safely be delivered and remain the preference, no prisoner should be asked to substitute that for a video call."

Visits play a vital part in the maintenance for family ties. For more information on maternal imprisonment and the importance of visits, see our What about me? briefing.

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Shelter has launched a campaign for increased investment in good housing which will help over a million people on social housing waiting lists in England if successful.

The organisation has been delivering advice and support services for people subject to probation provision since 2005, but has seen the problem of a lack of consistent housing options for those with an offending background increase in the last few years - reaching its peak during the Covid-19 pandemic.

To read more about their campaign click here.

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Russell Webster has blogged about the recent IMB women's resettlement report.

The blog is a helpful summary of the report, and well worth a read.

Read the blog here.

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Commenting on the findings of today’s report by Independent Monitoring Board, Jenny Earle, programme director for the Prison Reform Trust’s programme to reduce women’s imprisonment said:

“This report from independent prison monitoring boards doesn’t pull its punches, revealing that a quarter of women in prison lost their homes as a direct result of imprisonment—often for short periods for a minor offence—and fewer than half of women released had housing to go to. As our Home Truths briefing evidenced in 2016 and again in 2018, releasing women to homelessness is setting them up to fail and it seems little has changed. Lack of accommodation remains the main barrier to women’s resettlement on release.    

“We need answers from the Ministry of Justice on what the Homelessness Prevention Taskforces set up by the government earlier this year have delivered for women, as well as from the MHCLG on the failures of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. The most effective solution however is for the justice secretary to action the report’s first recommendation and ‘take steps to minimise the number of women entering prison as a result of a short sentence’. Implementation of the government’s Female OffenderStrategy would help achieve that goal.”

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Early release scheme 'paused'

19/08/2020 13:59:00

The early release scheme for prisoners in England and Wales is to end, it has been announced.

This move comes as the Chief Inspector warns that severe restrictions because of Covid carry a 'real risk of psychological decline'.

Go to this Guardian article for more information.

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