Irish Penal Reform Trust

UK: Lord Farmer publishes second review on the importance of family ties

18th June 2019

Following his 2017 review on the importance of family ties for men in prison, Lord Farmer’s second review looks at strengthening family and other relational ties across both custody and the community through the lens of female offenders. The new report has found that healthy relationships are a ‘must have’ when it comes to preventing women from reoffending. 

Lord Farmer points to Ministry of Justice statistics which show that prisoners who receive family visits are 39% less likely to reoffend, and research suggests that these relationships are even more important for women than they are for men. Around 30% of all female offenders have dependent children and maintaining these relationships can also reduce the issue of intergenerational offending. 

Female offenders are frequently among the most vulnerable individuals in society, often suffering from abuse, substance misuse and mental health problems which can profoundly impact their ability to develop and sustain healthy, trusting relationships. It is for these reasons that the existence of strong family ties is so crucial to rehabilitation. 

The findings of this review build upon the 2017 report, which looked at the importance of those same ties in men’s prisons and formed the basis of much of the work being undertaken across the estate today. 

Read ‘The Importance of Strengthening Female Offenders' Family and other Relationships’ on the Ministry of Justice website here. 


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