Bishop of St Albans asks about investment in women’s centres as an alternative to prison

On 8th February 2018 Lord Lee of Trafford asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the size of the prison population and conditions within prisons.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question about women in prison:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, research by the Ministry of Justice shows that women’s centres have a statistically significant effect on decreasing reoffending rates, are substantially cheaper than keeping women in custody and often allow families to stay together. Will the Minister use his department’s evidence to invest in women’s centres that treat women holistically as the best way forward for many women?

Lord Keen of Elie: The right reverend Prelate makes a very good point. We will shortly be setting out our strategy for female offenders. At present there are about 3,900 female offenders in custody. The Government are investing about £1 million between 2016 and 2020 to support local areas to respond to the needs of female offenders and to adopt a multiagency approach to their particular issues and problems.


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