Commonweal and Housing for Women jointly responded to the Justice Select Committee’s inquiry on women offenders. This aimed to review progress and examine current strategy and practice with respect to women offenders and those at risk of offending.
We called upon the Justice Select Committee to push for prison induction and reception processes (along with resettlement support and advice) that identify and focus on women with children at the earliest opportunity should they receive custodial sentences.
We also pointed out that accommodation and parenting responsibilities are key aspects of helping women to address behaviours and minimise re-offending (more so than male offenders where employment is a greater factor). We called for a focus on making sentencing in the community the norm for women convicted of non-violent offences, and for alternatives to custody that allow for the specific needs of women such as child care responsibilities.
The full response can be viewed here.