Female Offender Strategy: One Year On — [Joan Ryan in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:16 pm on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Labour, Delyn 3:16 pm, 24th July 2019

I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the debate, Ms Ryan. In the short time that I have, I want to place on the record my support for the female offender strategy. It builds strongly on the work of the Corston report, which I had the honour of receiving as Minister in the then Labour Government in 2007-08.

We accepted 40 of the 43 recommendations. We appointed my hon. Friend Maria Eagle as the champion to see the issue through, but then we ran into the blockage of democracy: the Government were removed from office in 2010. I fully support the efforts of Dr Lee to bring together a strategy to reduce the number of women in custody where possible. I take on board the comments of Philip Davies—that some crimes demand custody—but, where possible, we should reduce the number of women in custody, look at early interventions to support women in avoiding custody in the first place, and tackle some of the causes of offending with drug and alcohol services.

Only last week, I mentioned that the number of drug and alcohol treatment orders in the community has been halved in the past four years by the Government.