Female offenders’ experiences of the criminal justice system have been captured in a unique exhibition organised by mental health charity Together. The free exhibition, 'Girls Behind Bars: Female Experiences of Justice', is on show to the public at the Together Our Space Gallery, London, until 10th June. Both prisoners and ex-offenders are taking part in the exhibition, and the works aim to explore their lives and their experiences with the criminal justice system.
The artwork on display spans a variety of mediums, including video, photography, paintings, drawings, sculpture, poetry, audio and installations. It has been sourced from current prisoners at HMP Holloway, women and young offender groups supporting ex-offenders in the community, as well as individual artists, and women supported by Together.
Despite constituting only 5% of the prison population in the UK, over 70% of female prisoners have two or more mental health disorders. Together is a mental health charity based in the UK. They work alongside people with mental health issues, aiding them in their journey to leading fulfilling and independent lives. Together work directly with female offenders through their diversion and offender management programmes. These initiatives support the use of community-based alternatives to custody that better address the mental health needs of female offenders.