The UK Ministry of Justice has released a blueprint aimed at reducing the number of women in prison and preventing a cycle of “inter-generational offending.”
Targeted training for judges
The plan includes training for judges to increase their understanding of the specific problems faced by female prisoners, including those from ethnic backgrounds, and the harmful implications of sending them to jail. The Government will also provide judges with information on community sentences and evidence of what works.
The new plan also includes the placement of specialist domestic and sexual abuse advisers in prisons to help female prisoners cope with the trauma of being in custody and reduce the risk of suicide or other self-harm. The Ministry of Justice recognises that many women in prison have suffered abuse and that it is important to address these issues while they are in custody. These advisers will provide support and resources to help women deal with their experiences and move forward.
Preventing reoffending by female prisoners
The Ministry of Justice also recognises the importance of providing a stable home for women leaving prison. The plan promises to ensure that women leaving prison have a place to go, in an effort to minimise the chances of them reoffending. This includes access to housing, support services, and employment opportunities. The goal is to provide women with the resources they need to succeed and break the cycle of offending.
The blueprint is believed to be a step in the right direction in addressing the root causes of offending among female prisoners. Through this measure, the Government can be seen to be taking a proactive approach to reducing the number of women in prison by addressing the underlying problems that lead to criminal behavior. The training for judges will increase understanding and help ensure that women receive appropriate sentences that take into account their individual circumstances.
“We must do all we can to reduce the number of women who end up in the criminal justice system, and ensure that those who do are given the support they need to turn their lives around,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice. “By increasing understanding of the specific problems affecting female offenders and the damaging impact of imprisonment, we hope to create a more effective and compassionate criminal justice system.”
Addressing trauma and abuse
The placement of specialist advisers in prisons will also help to address domestic as well as socioeconomic trauma that many women have suffered and provide support to help them overcome it. The hope is that this support will lead to positive outcomes and reduce the risk of reoffending.
The placement of specialist advisers in prisons will also help to address the trauma that many women have suffered and provide support to help them move past it, amking it easier to access more stable opportunities in the economy. The hope is that this support will lead to positive outcomes and reduce the risk of reoffending.
The Ministry of Justice’s new initiative is part of a wider push to reform the criminal justice system and reduce the number of women who are incarcerated. In recent years, the number of women in prison has risen sharply, with many serving short sentences for non-violent offenses. The present plan is thus aimed to be a comprehensive approach at reducing female prisoners. The training for judges, placement of specialist advisers in prisons, and the promise to provide women leaving prison with a place to go, are all steps in the right direction in addressing the root causes of female offending.
In a socioeconomic system where women are significantly sidelined by policies that are intended to deliver adequate redressal and rehabilitation, such measures of levelling up the economy by bringing gender-based policies into focus is a step in the right direction. If female offenders who experience violence, mental health struggles and, abuse and trauma, are left unsupported, rates of crime and offence are bound to increase and the harmful cycle of offending continues. After the Publication of the Female Offender Strategy by the Ministry of Justice, it is helpful to see the Government remain consistent on its strategy to help female offenders reenter the economy with favorable employment prospects and housing, especially in light of the oncoming recession. The Ministry’s three aims of early intervention, improved community sentences, and reducing the number of females going to prison that were highlighted in the Female Offender Strategy are reflected well in the present decision to gain a comprehensive understanding of the lives of the offenders.
However, with the ongoing debate surrounding the placement of transgender women in single sex prisons, the Government’s stance on gender within the Justice System has recently become muddled. Thus, with the present strategy, what remains to be seen is how well the Government follows through with it, and whether female offenders are able to find adequate support and recognition within the Justice System.
Curia’s Levelling up Commission
It is this issue, of leveling up through better services in the justice system, along with several others, that Curia’s own Levelling Up Commission will address, seeking to consider how the aims of the levelling up agenda can be tangibly achieved from the perspective of public service design and delivery, across four policy areas:
- Health and Social Care
- Housing and Homelessness
- Education, Skills and Training
- Crime, Justice and Rehabilitation
If you wish to find out more about the Levelling Up Commission, please get in touch with our policy lead at firstname.lastname@example.org.