Agenda’s response to the Female Offender Strategy announced today by the Ministry of Justice.
Katharine Sacks-Jones, Director of Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk, says: “Women at risk of offending face considerable disadvantage with backgrounds of mental ill health, addiction and experiences of domestic and sexual abuse.
“We therefore welcome the Female Offender Strategy’s emphasis on community support, which is far more effective at helping women address these issues than custody.
“However, we are concerned that without sufficient funds the strategy will not achieve its ambitions.
“Women’s community services have been proven to be effective, yet in recent years, funding pressures have meant many services, including some of our member organisations, have struggled to maintain support. Some have closed completely.
“The £3 million of new funding announced is simply not enough to ensure vital women’s services are able to support women in the way the strategy recommends.”