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Government Response to the Justice Committee's Second Report of Session 2013-14: Female Offenders

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2013
36 pages
This is the policy response of the United Kingdom's Ministry of Justice to the recommendations of the Justice Committee's second report of session 2013-14 regarding corrections polices toward female offenders.
Although the Ministry of Justice does not agree with every policy recommendation of the Justice Committee regarding female offenders, the Justice Committee has provided guidance for the Government's new approach to managing female offenders. New custodial policies will enable women inmates to stay closer to home, facilitating visits by family members and friends. Community employment regimes are being established for female inmates, so as to enable low-risk women to work in the community. This will allow them to develop employment experience that can continue after their release. Also, strategic prison hubs are being established close to urban centers. This will ensure that women will have access to a broad range of interventions in sentencing while remaining near their homes. An open unit is being established at HMP Styal that will accommodate 25 low-risk women. These women will work outside the prison and access rehabilitative programs and health treatment available at the prison. Simultaneously every woman's prison will focus on resettlement upon release and cooperate with agencies providing services in the community after release. Through Transforming Rehabilitation reforms, all women will receive 12 months of supervision and support after their release. The expansion and accessibility of community services for female offenders has improved, which lays the ground work for community support for women after their release from short sentences. Efforts to divert women from custodial sentences where appropriate will continue. Legislation is being introduced to give sentencers more community-based options designed for women. Government policy proposals follow each of the Justice Committee's recommendations.