Sentencing (Female Offenders) — [Sandra Osborne in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 16th October 2012.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley 2:30 pm, 16th October 2012

I have indeed. I have visited the intensive alternatives to custody in my part of the world and have visited 12 UK prisons, including Holloway and a women’s prison up in Yorkshire—so I have visited two women’s prisons in the UK. I have also visited prisons in Denmark and the USA, to see what they do. If my hon. Friend was trying to suggest that I did not know what I was talking about, I hope that I have made her aware that I have some experience in this field.

Interestingly, no one has, as yet, managed to tell me which of those people I listed should not be in prison. Perhaps we have a consensus that they should be in prison. If people want to limit the debate to the 1,800 women I have mentioned, let us continue to consider which of them should be let out. Perhaps it is the 91 arsonists, the 24 people convicted of violent disorder, or the 45 serving time for kidnapping and blackmail. Perhaps it is the 192 people who are in for serious fraud and forgery, the 320 who have been convicted of importing drugs that end up being sold onto our streets, or the 111 serving time for other serious drug offences. If we do not want to let all of them out, we appear to be running out of options. Perhaps people will tell us which of those women they think should not be in prison.