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Dealing with women offenders: the policy challenge Carol Hedderman Department of Criminology

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Presentation on theme: "Dealing with women offenders: the policy challenge Carol Hedderman Department of Criminology"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dealing with women offenders: the policy challenge Carol Hedderman Department of Criminology

2 The mission remains the same The Corston Report (2007: 16) Equal treatment of men and women does not result in equal outcomes… The majority of female offenders have committed non-violent offences and present little risk to the public... Custodial experience affects women differently and disproportionately from men...and they are more likely to lose their home and children as a result of imprisonment.

3 Two main challenges Guarding against Government funding cuts Evidence of impact is the best form of defence against cuts. This is a real area of weakness. Many small projects run on shoestring budgets Insufficient thought and funding has been given to learning from these projects without burdensome data demands Funders agreeing a basket of common measures would reduce burden on small projects and generate the best evidence base

4 The other challenge Reducing the number going to prison Prison population = no of sentences x length. Claims about reductions in the prison population and increases in community sentences may be true but this is not because the number of women going into prison has fallen – it hasn’t! Alternatives to custody are being used as alternatives to each other not to prison. There is evidence to suggest that more women are being sucked into the CJS.

5 The evidence (National Statistics) ReportYearSentenced Population Receptions under custodial sentence WNC19911,148 2,247 Wedderburn/PRT20002,666 7,006 WORP20043,449 8,264 Corston20073,345 8,056 Latest20083,524 8,862 No evidence of diversion: 11% increase in the proportion of women being received into prison on sentences under six months. In this context the rising number of SSOs is worrying. Evidence of net widening: the increase in community orders is exclusively among short orders.


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