The Prison Reform Trust has launched a three year drive, supported by a major grant from the Big Lottery Fund, to reduce women’s imprisonment across the UK. It will draw on the findings and recommendations of our report Transforming Lives, produced in partnership with Soroptimist UKPAC, and builds on the success of the previous programme supported by the Pilgrim Trust from 2012-2015, which contributed to a 10% reduction in the number of women in prison in England and Wales.

The new strategy - Transforming lives: Reducing women’s imprisonment - will promote more effective, early intervention and non-custodial responses to women in trouble, working with national and local governments, statutory agencies, and voluntary and community sector organisations in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A Programme Manager based in Edinburgh with Families Outside, an independent charity that supports prisoners’ families, will lead the work to support the change of direction in Scotland in favour of small custodial units and community-based provision, and spur on progress in Northern Ireland.

Our partnerships with User Voice and Keyring will ensure that the voices of women with experience of the criminal justice system, including women with learning disabilities, are at the heart of what we do, informing our local strategies and influencing commissioners and service providers.

The strategy has four key strands: reducing the number of women in prison; improving governance of women’s justice; promoting community solutions to women in trouble; and improving compliance with the UN Bangkok Rules.

For regular progress reports, subscribe to the Prison Reform Trust newsletter. To find out more about the programme, or if you have a specific query, email: