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13 October 2017

Invest in women’s centres to reduce offending, not prisons

The Prison Reform Trust has launched a briefing today exclusively with BBC Radio 5 Live Drive on the contribution of women’s centres to reducing women’s offending. The one page briefing condenses the important evidence underpinning women’s centres, and had been launched on the same day as the Ministry of Justice’s independent advisory board for female offenders met. The independent board was established to advise and hold ministers to account in delivering reforms to the criminal justice system and its treatment of women.

Earlier this year, we published Centres of Excellence, a proposal for investment in a network of women’s centres in England and Wales. Rather than choosing to invest in building five new community prisons for women, as the government announced in November last year, our proposal would deliver a network of community based services for women in trouble with the law, to better address the issues leading to their offending.

The Ministry of Justice has committed to publishing a women’s strategy by the end of this year, and we will be submitting more detailed evidence to the minister with responsibility for women in the criminal justice system, Phillip Lee, to make the case for further investment in women’s centres ahead of the strategy’s publication.

Listen again to Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust, outline the case on BBC Radio 5 Live by clicking here.