Response to Annual Report from HM Inspector of Prisons in England and Wales
Katharine Sacks-Jones, Director of Agenda, says: “The latest annual report from HM Inspector Prisons shows areas of great concern for women in prisons.
“In particular, the report highlights the increasing number of women in prison facing multiple disadvantage. We know that histories of abuse and violence are very common. These experiences have a significant effect on women’s lives, with many facing addiction, mental ill-health, homelessness and poverty. The report shows that there is too little support available to help women deal with all these issues.
“The fact is that most women have committed non-violent offences, have high levels of vulnerabilities and prison is simply not the right place for them. Evidence shows that community-based support that helps tackle the underlying issues women face, such as services provided by women’s centres, are proven to be effective.
“The government needs to change its focus from prison to investing in these valuable services, which we know can prevent many of the most vulnerable women being sent to prison in the first place.”