31st October 2018
On Wednesday 31st October 2018, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Women in the Penal System published its most recent report, Sentencers and sentenced: exploring knowledge, agency and sentencing women to prison, which aims to draw attention to factors contributing to the continued sentencing of women to prison, despite the wide range of evidence highlighting the ineffectiveness of this practice in most cases.
The three main factors identified in the report are:
The report suggests that in order to tackle these particular issues, inspiration can be taken from Scotland where a presumption against custodial sentences of up to three months was introduced in 2011 and saw a major reduction in the number of people receiving custodial sentences of less than three months.
The report also makes recommendations that custodial sentences of less than 12 months should be abolished for women and calls for any future probation model to have protected, ring-fenced funding specifically for women’s services.