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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:30 pm on 16th October 2012.

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Photo of Jenny Chapman Jenny Chapman Shadow Minister (Justice) 3:30 pm, 16th October 2012

The majority of women who are sentenced serve less than six months. It goes without saying that serious and violent offenders, whether men or women, should be punished and imprisoned to protect the public. However, it needs to be said that the majority of women, viewed by sentences, have committed minor, non-violent offences. We are aware that our new Secretary of State for Justice is keen to tell us that prison works, but when 62% of women who serve a short custodial sentence get out and quickly reoffend, it is a sure sign that something is not working. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would like all classes of offender to serve longer sentences, but I am curious to know where the budget will come from.