On 11th June 2018 Baroness Fall asked Her Majesty’s Government “what percentage of women in prison have dependants under 16 years old; and what is the average length of stay in prison for such women.” The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, the Ministry of Justice has produced clear evidence that women’s centres are effective at reducing reoffending, provide joined-up community services to support physical and mental health needs and give more opportunities to women to have access to their children. What assessment does the Minister make of the need for increased funding to sustain and open more women’s centres?
Baroness Vere of Norbiton: My Lords, women’s centres and women’s services in general play an incredibly important role in supporting female offenders, many of whom have hugely complex needs. Over 50% of female offenders were abused as children and 60% experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. I think noble Lords will all agree that female offenders are on average potentially more complex than male offenders and need a wide variety of well-funded support.