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Women in Prison

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Alexandria Bradley

on 29 February 2016

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Transcript of Women in Prison

The Fight for Women In Prison
Women In Prison
"A Place For A Lady?"
By Alexandria Bradley 07/03/13

The number of women in prison has increased by
over the past 15 years (1996-2011)

(Prison Reform Trust 2012).

of women leaving prison are re-convicted within one year . Those serving sentences of less than 12 months this increases to
(The Ministry of Justice 2011).

Clive Chatterton (former Styal Gov) condemns short term sentencing for women: One lady received a 12 day prison sentence for stealing a £3 sandwich.
(The Guardian 2012)
Short Sentences are ineffective- no time to reform or rehabilitate, worst form of recidivism rate.

The Governments Plans
Suicide and Self Harm Risk
Alternatives to Prison
The Costs
Parents in Prison
Current Debates, Literature and Statistics from Academics (Carlen, Hedderman, Esherick, Corston) Media, Criminal Justice System and other Organisations, suggest the system is still unsure how to rehabilitate women in prison. Today the CJS is still confused on what rehabilitation really is, an element of punishment is necessary however we are doubly punishing our female offenders, reinforcing powerlessness and stigmatisation. (Hucklesby and Wahidin 2009).

The risks associated with female incarceration must be taken into consideration.

It is a current and controversial debate, despite its existence and acknowledgment, it is still a prevalent and perpetuating problem.

Post Modernists suggest Women Imprisonment: "A Crisis made worse by a growing popular awareness that women prisoners were more likely to be suffering from multiple problems of material deprivation than male prisoners and are less likely than males to be 'career or 'dangerous criminals' (Carlen and Worrall 2004).

The controversies continue- Although it is acknowledged, nothing is happening.
The Current Debates
As of Friday March 1st 2013- There are 3967 women in prison (Ministry of Justice 2013).

14 Female Prisons distributed unevenly, usually an estimated 50 miles away from family's (Bromley Briefings 2010).

Females account for just 5% of the prison population yet total 50.8% in the UK population (Office for National Statistics 2012).

Prior to imprisonment 85% of women were
smokers, 75% had used illegal drugs and 40%
drank alcohol in excess of the recommended
limits (Ministry of Justice 2009).

More women in 2007 were incarcerated for shoplifting than any other offence, accounting for 26% of women in immediate custody. (Murray 2005).

Many need help, support and rehabilitation, prison amplifies issues instead of addressing them.
Although the controversies surrounding women in prison is not new, it is still a highly controversial issue.

There is still a lack of concern regarding the politics of women, due to the patriarchal notions of why women commit crimes, and assessing the punishments they need/ deserve.

In an ideal world an Abolitionist Perspective should be considered, whereby we strive to send more female offenders to alternative visions of justice (Carlen & Worrall 2004).

In order for females to escape from the revolving door of short prison sentences, adequate housing is essential (Eaton 1993).

Thus alternatives to custody which offer support and guidance in improving financial, housing, child custody and rehabilitation options would ensure a better recidivism rate than prison.
To Conclude
Facts & Controversies
Prison has been designed by men for men. Women suffer more emotionally and feel harsher 'pains of imprisonment (Hedderman 2010). Gynecological needs and separation from children (Carlen 2002). Emotional deprivation and absence of self worth (Zaplin 2008).

Baroness Corston’s report ‘Review of Women with Particular Vulnerabilities in the Criminal Justice System’ (Home Office 2007). It highlighted a radical approach to working with female offenders.

The requirement: A Multi- Agency, women- centered and holistic approach to combat and reduce re offending.

Until The Prison Service Order 4800 Women Prisoners 2008 & Gender Specific Standards there was no guidance on how to manage female offenders and the differentiating needs (Leech 2012, p 471).

Although the Corston report achieved a lot of improvements for female offenders such as the removal of mandatory strip searching, one recommendation: ' only violent/ dangerous offenders should be in custody- In 2010 68% of women were in prison for non-violent offences (Prison Reform Trust)
of fathers in prison can expect full time care for their children by the mother.
of mothers in prison can expect the reverse (House of Commons 2004).

Imprisoning mothers for non-violent offenses carries a cost to children and the state of more than £17 million over a 10 year period (New Economics Foundation 2008).

Children of offenders suffer psychosocial problems e.g withdrawal, bed wetting, double risk of mental health issues and are more likely to become offenders themselves than other peers (Murray and Farrington 2008).

Although there are currently 7 Mother and Baby units with the capacity for 77 children, separation occurs at 9-18 months (Leech 2012).

Many women lose their homes due to imprisonment, making it difficult to regain custody of children.
The cost of a prison place currently stands at £56,415 for a female.

A community order costs £2,800.

To provide a woman with holistic based services through a Women’s Community Service costs £1,360 per annum (Ministry of Justice 2012).

On average, it costs 12 times more to send a woman to prison than to
put her on a probation or community service order. The more custodial sentences a woman has served, the more likely it is that she will re-offend (Cabinet Office & Ministry of Justice 2009).

For every £1 invested in support-focused alternatives to prison, £14 of
social value is generated (NEF 2008).

Imprisoning women who are mothers for non-violent offences carries a cost of at least £17 million over 10 years (New Economics Foundation, 2008).

Self harm in prison may be a deliberate attempt to end a life, although can also be a long standing coping mechanism. Many women say they feel alive and in control. (Ministry of Justice 2012).

In 2009 one in three female prisoners
self-harmed compared with fewer than one in ten males
(Ministry of Justice 2010). In 2012
of the recorded self harm in prisons was committed by females (Prison Reform Trust 2012).

Suicide is 20 times more common in female prisoners than in the general female population (Fazer and Benning 2009).

Of all the women who are sent to prison,
say they have attempted suicide at some time in their life (Corston 2007).

have severe and enduring mental illness,
a major depressive disorder,
psychosis and
schizophrenia (Cabinet Office 2009).
Less dangerous female offenders would benefit from non custodial sentences such as community punishment and restorative justice, not prison or a fine. Must offer rehabilitation.

Platform 51 Chrysalis Programme: focusing on woman’s complete well being: their physical and mental health, their housing and family background, and drug and alcohol misuse. Holistic support like this is the most cost-effective way of tackling women’s offending.

of women who complete the Chrysalis programme do not re-offend, compared to the national average of
45 %
(YWCA 2010).

“I want to work – that part of my life is finished” " I feel like a human again"
Murray, J. and Farrington, D. (2008) The effects of parental imprisonment on children in Tonry, M. (Ed.) (2008) Crime and justice: A review of research of research (37); Chicago, pp. 133-206.

NEF (2008) Unlocking value: How we all benefit from investing in alternatives to prison for women offenders; London: New Economics Foundation.

Paget, G. (2011) INSPIRE: Positive Alternatives for Women, an Evaluative report, [online]. Available at: http://www.womenscentre.org.uk/index.php?What_We_Do:Inspire_Project. (Accessed: 27 February 2013).

Platform 51. (2010) Briefing: The Revolving Door, Women and the Criminal Justice System, [photographs] [online] Available at: http://www.platform51.org/downloads/resources/briefings/P51briefing_%20revolvingdoor.pdf. (Accessed 13 February 2013).

Prison Reform Trust. (2011) ‘What Price Womens Justice? We Need Your Help’, 21 October, London: Prison Reform Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/PressPolicy/News/vw/1/ItemID/1. (Accessed 12 February 2013).

Prison Reform Trust. (2012) Bromley Briefings Prison Fact file, June 2012, London: Prison Reform Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/FactfileJune2012.pdf (Accessed 14 February 2013).

Punishment and Reform: What Works to Protect the Public and Stop Crime, London: CJA. [online] Available at: http://www.criminaljusticealliance.org/docs/LabourPartyJusticePolicyWorkingGroup.pdf (Accessed 27 February 2013).

The Office for National Statistics. (2012) ‘Annual Mid-year Population Estimates for England and Wales, Mid 2011’, London: Office for National Statistics, [online] Available at: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/pop-estimate/population-estimates-for-england-and-wales/mid-2011--2011-census-based-/stb---mid-2011-census-based-population-estimates-for-england-and-wales.html#tab-Mid-2011-population-estimates. (Accessed 23 February 2013).

Travis, A. (2012) ‘Mandatory post-release rehab courses for short-sentence prisoners unveiled’, The Guardian, [photograph] [online] Available at ://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/11/20/1353419872139/David-Cameron-Criminal-Ju-010.jpg. (Accessed 01 March 2013).

Women Liberal Democrats (2003) WLD Women in Prison Campaign, [photographs] [online] Available at: http://womenlibdems.org.uk/en/image/53s5ZW/protest-piccie.png. (Accessed 23 February 2013).

Vallely, P. and Cassidy, S. (2012) 'Mothers and Prison: The Alternatives', The Independent, 21 September, [online] Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/mothers--prison-the-alternatives-8160836.html. (Accessed 24 February 2013).

Worrall, A. (2002b) 'Missed Opportunity’s? The Probation Service and Women Offenders', in D.Ward, J. Scott and M. Lacey (eds) Probation: Working for Justice, 2nd Edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

YWCA (2010) Just YW: YWCA England & Wales Annual Review 2009-2010, London: YWCA.

Zaplin, R, T. (ed) (2008) Female Offenders: Critical Perspectives and Effective Interventions, 2nd Edn, Canada: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Rehabilitation Revolution- short custodial sentences will include a period of rehab in a bid to curb re-offending (Grierson 2013).

Change the revolving door issue.

Community and custodial sentences will be based on four pillars – punishment,
rehabilitation and work for offenders, and reparation for victims.

They have recognised that building new establishments will solve the over crowding issue however it will not resolve re-offending rates as half of all crime is committed by
previous offenders and one in five recorded crimes are committed by ex-prisoners (The Coalition 2010).

Nothing directly for women offenders, not enough is being done due to the absence of an official policy and procedure for female prisoners.

of female offenders leaving prison each
year received sentences of 12 months or less and have no supervision by
the probation service- Punishment must be followed closely by rehabilitation and additional services to provide access to a stable and successful life on the outside (Prison Reform Trust 2012).
The Coalition Vision
of women offenders acknowledge unemployment and lack of skills as contributing factors to their offending. (Ministry of Justice 2012).
Since emerging in the eighteenth century, the modern prison has been intended to fulfill a number of roles (Hucklesby and Wahidin 2009).
The Goals of The Prison & Criminal Justice System
We will work to reduce the number of
women, young and mentally
ill people in prison.

£40 million funding to promote effective community provision particularly
where offenders are at risk of receiving short custodial sentences (Ministry
of Justice, 2008: p. 6).

Community Payback- Asset Confiscation- cash to houses and cars.

Re-offending continued to rise....
Labour Tried and Failed
Green Paper
Crispin Blunt
A promising network of community provision for women has been developed through probation and the voluntary sector working closely together.

Aim to divert vulnerable women away from custody and the courts when there is no risk to the public. (Ministry of Justice 2010.
Breaking The Cycle 2010
Prison Minister 2012

BBC News. (2007) In Detail, Prisons in the UK, [photograph] [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/06/uk_prisons_in_the_uk/img/5.jpg. Accessed 26 February 2013).

Bridgestock, L. (2010) UK Prisons Failing Vulnerable Women, [photograph] [online] Available at: http://www.womensviewsonnews.org/2012/02/uk-prisons-failing-vulnerable-women/. (Accessed 3 March 2013)

Cabinet Office & Ministry of Justice (2009) Short Study on Women Offenders; London, Social Exclusion Task Force.

Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Task Force (2009) Short Study on Women Offenders, London: Cabinet Office.

Carlen P. (1983) ‘Women’s Imprisonment: A Study in Social Control’, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul,.

Carlen P. (1990) Alternatives to Women’s Imprisonment, Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Caulfield, L. (2010) ‘Rethinking the Assessment of Female Offenders’, The Howard Journal of Criminology, 49 (4) September 2010, pp. 315- 327.

Cavadino, M. and Dignan, J. (2007) The Penal System: An Introduction. 4th Edn, London: Sage Publications.

Collett, P. (2012) ‘David Cameron's body language reminds Nick Clegg who's in charge’, The Guardian, 12 May, [photograph] [online] Available at: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/5/12/1273685251237/David-Cameron-Nick-Clegg-006.jpg. (Accessed 23 February 2013).

Corston J. (2007) The Corston Repor: tA Review of Women with Particular Vulnerabilities in the Criminal Justice System. London: Home Office.

Corston, J. (2011) All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in the Penal System Chaired by Baroness Corston, The Howard League for Penal Reform, [online] Avaliable at: http://www.howardleague.org/fileadmin/howard_league/user/pdf/Publications/Women_in_the_penal_system.pdf. (Accessed 01 March 2013).

Criminal Justice Alliance. (2011) Labour Party Justice Policy Working Group Punishment and Reform: What Works to Protect the Public and Stop Crime, London: CJA. [online] Available at: http://www.criminaljusticealliance.org/docs/LabourPartyJusticePolicyWorkingGroup.pdf (Accessed 27 February 2013).
ESF Works. (2012) Reach: Chrysalis Supporting women ex-offenders to rebuild their lives, [online] Available at: http://www.esf-works.com/images/projects/downloads/reach_chrysalis_pdf_download.pdf. (Accessed 2 March 2013).

Eaton (1993) Women After Prison, London: Open University Press.

Esherick, J. (2007) Women In Prison, London: Mason and Crest Publishers.

Fazel, S., & Benning, R. (2009). ‘Suicides in female prisoners in England and Wales, 1978–2004’. British Journal of Psychiatry, 194, pp. 183–184.

Great Britain. HM Government. (2010) Coalition Government: Our Programme for Government, May 2010, London: Cabinet Office. online Available at: http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_187876.pdf. (Accessed 17 February 2013).

Great Britain. Ministry of Justice (2009) Statistics on Women and the Criminal Justice System, London: Ministry of Justice.

Great Britain. Ministry of Justice (2011) Adult re-convictions: results from the 2009 cohort, London: Ministry of Justice.

Great Britain. Ministry of Justice. (2010) Breaking The Cycle, Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders, December 2010, London: Ministry of Justice. online Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120119200607/http:/www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/docs/breaking-the-cycle.pdf. (Accessed 18 February 2013).

Great Britain. Ministry of Justice. (2010) Green Paper Evidence Report: Breaking the Cycle, Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders, December 2010, London: Ministry of Justice. online Available at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/consultations/green-paper-evidence-a.pdf (Accessed 16 February 2013).

Great Britain. Ministry of Justice. (2012) A Distinct Approach: A Guide to Working with Women Offenders, London: Ministry of Justice. online Available at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/publications/noms/2012/guide-working-with-women-offenders.pdf. (Accessed 13 February 2013).

Great Britain. The Conservative Party. (Undated) Prisons with A Purpose: Our Sentencing and Rehabilitation Revolution to Break the Cycle of Crime, London: The Conservative Party, Milbank online Available at: http://m.conservatives.com/Policy/Security_Agenda.aspx. (Accessed 21 February 2013).

Great Britain. The Labour Party. (2010) The Labour Party Manifesto 2010, London: Labour Party. online Available at: http://www2.labour.org.uk/uploads/TheLabourPartyManifesto-2010.pdf. (Accessed 21 February 2013).

Grierson, J. (2013) ‘Rehabilitation Revolution for Prisoners after Short Jail Terms’, The Independent, 09 January, online Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/rehabilitation-revolution-for-prisoners-after-short-jail-terms-8443504.html. (Accessed 16 February 2013).

Hansard. (2013) House of Commons Debate, 5 February, Collumn 99, [online] Available at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130205/debtext/130205-0001.htm. (Accessed 3 March 2013).

Hedderman, C. (2010) ‘Government policy on women offenders: Labours Legacy and the Coalitions challenge’, Punishment & Society, 2010, (12) pp. 485-500. online Available at: http://pun.sagepub.com/content/12/4/485.full.pdf+html (Accessed 12 February 2013).

Home Office (2002a) Statistics on Women in the Criminal Justice System 2001, London: The Stationary Office.

Hucklesby, A. and Wahidin, A. (eds) (2009) Criminal Justice, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

James, E. (2007) ‘No Place for A Lady’, The Guardian, 30 November, photographs online Available at: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Society/Pix/pictures/2007/11/29/womensprison460x276.jpg. (Accessed 17 February 2013).

Johnson, W. (2013) 'Chris Graylings Unveil Plans for Britain’s Biggest Prison', The Telegraph, 10 January, online Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9791410/Chris-Grayling-to-unveil-plans-for-Britains-biggest-prison.html. (Accessed 02 March 2013).

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Murray, J (2005) The Effects of Imprisonment of Families and Children of Prisoners in Liebling, A. and Maruna, S. (2005) The Effects of Imprisonment; Collumpton: Willan.
Should an already CHAOTIC and desperate life be disrupted so harshly?
However there is much confusion regarding the rehabilitation of female offenders
Jeremy Wright
Current Prison Minister
"We support the conclusions of the Corston report, we are conducting an analysis of the effectiveness of different sentences as part of the current sentencing review, we are committed to reducing the number of women in prison, and a network of women-only community provision is being developed to support robust
community sentences (Corston 2011).
The Most Significant
The existing women’s prisons should be replaced with suitable,
geographically dispersed, small, multi-functional custodial centres, and
that these should be phased in over a period of 10 years.
There are still 14
women’s prisons in England and Wales (Corston 2011).
We need to differentiate the needs for female offenders.
We understand that short- sentencing is not working (Hansard 2013).
£92,751 for 1 Region only 2 women need to stop re-offending to be cost effective, ESF Works (2012).
Aims: Outline the contemporary challenges surrounding women in prison by developing political and economic issues and addressing the need for change.
Prison is not addressing the root causes to female offending (Esherick 2007).
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