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