Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk, is calling on the Government to take urgent action to ensure that female prisoners have housing on release. The charity is making the call in light of a report revealing women are being given tents and sleeping bags on leaving HMP Bronzefield because they have nowhere to live.
Agenda is highlighting that female prisoners tend to be particularly vulnerable, with very high rates of mental and physical ill-health. The charity is arguing that leaving these women homeless puts them at risk of violence and does nothing to tackle reoffending.
Katharine Sacks-Jones, Director of Agenda, said:
“It’s unacceptable that women are being released from prison onto the streets.
“The majority of female prisoners serve short sentences, but these can be long enough that they lose their housing, others will have been homeless before entering prison. They are often very vulnerable: most have experienced serious violence and abuse, many have mental health problems, and some struggle with addiction.
“We need urgent action to ensure every woman leaving prison has a safe and secure place to live. Otherwise women are likely to end up cycling between homelessness and custody, at risk of serious further harm.”
Notes to editors
Agenda is an alliance of more than 60 organisations who have come together to campaign for change for women and girls at risk. We believe society is failing to adequately protect and support women and girls who face the most extensive violence, abuse, trauma and extreme inequality.
We are calling for systems and services to be redesigned with women and girls at their heart so that they can access the support they need to rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. www.weareagenda.org.