UK Justice Minister, Helen Grant, has published a report outlining her key priorities and strategic objectives for female offenders. The report highlights the need for proper punishment, coupled with effective rehabilitation, in order to break the cycle of crime and abuse faced by many female offenders.
In a media interview, Helen Grant explained that women offenders are a highly vulnerable group, who commit crime because of earlier failures to protect and support them. In order to reduce offending and re-offending, the reasons why women offend in the first place must be addressed.
A new Advisory Board for female offenders, chaired by Helen Grant, will work across government to help shape future policy, and will consider issues such as:
- The use of tough and effective community orders that allow women to be punished and rehabilitated in the community, as an alternative to the use of short custodial sentences;
- The provision of more effective women’s services in the community by the public, private and voluntary sector;
- Locating female prisoners as near as possible to their families to help maintain important links with children; and
- A whole system approach, working with partners within the criminal justice system, such as sentencers, and those outside the system, in order to address factors associated with female offending, such as domestic violence and sexual abuse, mental health needs and substance misuse.
To read the full report, click here.