Female Offenders

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Conservative, Thornbury and Yate

What steps the Government are taking to improve the management of female offenders in the criminal justice system.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The “Female Offender Strategy”, which we published last summer, sets out a raft of specific commitments underpinned by our vision to see fewer women coming into the criminal justice system, a greater proportion managed successfully in the community and better conditions for those in custody.

Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Conservative, Thornbury and Yate

Rates of suicide in female institutions are often disproportionately high. Will the Minister update the House on what he is doing to work with female prisons to bring suicide rates down, including prisons such as Eastwood Park in my constituency?

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Every death in prison is a tragedy, and we are committed to improving the safety and support available to all in our prisons. The rate of self-inflicted deaths in women’s prisons is lower than that seen in the male estate, but we recognise that the rate of self-harm is nearly five times the rate in the male estate. Therefore, we know that we need to do more. That is why we have set up a specialist safer custody team dedicated to the women’s estate and are rolling out revised and improved suicide and self-harm prevention training.