Bishop of Gloucester asks if enough attention is given to prison alternatives when women are sentenced

On 3rd July 2018 Baroness Burt of Solihull asked Her Majesty’s Government “how they will ensure that provision for women in the prison system is properly funded, following their decision to abandon plans for five community prisons for women in England and Wales.” The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, I am grateful that Her Majesty’s Government do not intend to open new women’s prisons, as has been said, and I am grateful for the assurance that more money will be put into women’s centres. However, what work will be done to ensure that those who sentence know what is actually available in the community? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks if enough attention is given to prison alternatives when women are sentenced”

Bishop of Ely asks Government about funding for more women’s centres

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? Continue reading “Bishop of Ely asks Government about funding for more women’s centres”

Bishop of Derby on need for focus on funding, relationship education and reformation as ways to tackle domestic abuse

On 22nd March 2018 Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to support survivors of domestic abuse and to prevent future abuse.” The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, for introducing this important debate. It is crucial that we hold together support for victims and prevention. To get value for our investment we need to push back against the space that allows this crime to happen. I want to offer one or two thoughts about the framework within which resources need to be spent, and about the challenge to the Minister and to local authorities in the complexities that we are trying to deal with. The smaller the budget, the greater the odds against anything working. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby on need for focus on funding, relationship education and reformation as ways to tackle domestic abuse”

Bishop of Rochester asks Government about support for released female offenders

RochesterOn 5th March, Baroness Burt of Solihull asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what assessment they have made of the suitability of bids for replacement services for women prisons made following the closure of HM Prison Holloway.’ The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, asked a follow up question: Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester asks Government about support for released female offenders”

Bishop of St Albans highlights work of church-based agencies in supporting women in developing countries

stalbans190117On the 22nd February 2018 Lord Loomba led a debate in the House of Lords on the question “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what priority they give to women and girls, including widows, when developing and implementing Department for International Development initiatives and projects.” The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I too thank the noble Lord, Lord Loomba, for initiating this debate. I also pay tribute to his work, especially among women and widows.

The poet William Ross Wallace wrote in 1865 that those who rock the cradle rule the world. The contribution that women make to the well-being of their communities and beyond has been overlooked far too frequently, whether by history or by institutions. As we celebrate the centenary of women’s suffrage, we recall the injustices that women in our own society have faced as we work to combat current injustices at home and, of course, overseas.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans highlights work of church-based agencies in supporting women in developing countries”

Bishop of Gloucester highlights long term funding needs for women’s centres in prison sector

Gloucester071117 bIn the House of Lords on the 22nd February 2018 the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a question she had tabled to Government about their long-term plans for the prison sector, specifically plans for the funding of women’s centres.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their vision for the long-term future of the prison system.

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Keen of Elie) (Con): My Lords, we shall seek to maintain a prison system that is sufficient for public protection and will provide opportunity for the rehabilitation of offenders. Where it is necessary for offenders to be deprived of their liberty, their detention should be decent and safe.
 The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, in 2015, the Justice Committee of the other place concluded that funding for women’s centres, “appears to be a recurring problem”. Ten years after the report of the noble Baroness, Lady Corston, can the Minister assure me that secure, long-term funding for women’s centres is now a high priority?

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? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about investment in women’s centres as an alternative to prison”