London: Most women are sent to prison for non-violent offences and serve sentences of 12 months or less, a new briefing by the Prison Reform Trust reveals. 72% of women who entered prison under sentence in 2020 have committed a non-violent offence. Furthermore, 70% of prison sentences given to women were for less than 12 months. A series of inquiries and reports over the last 20 years, as well as the government’s own ‘female offender strategy’, have all concluded that prison is rarely a necessary, appropriate or proportionate response to women who get caught up in the criminal justice system. Despite this, the government has recently announced plans to build an additional 500 prison places in the women’s estate. This is in direct contradiction to a key commitment of the female offender strategy to reduce the female prison population. The briefing provides a concise and informative explanation of the need to focus on reducing the imprisonment of women in England and Wales. It contains statistics on the number of women imprisoned, the characteristics of women in prison and the drivers to their offending, as well as information about community-based services and solutions.
Source: Prison Trust, https://is.gd/8rvu05