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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:58 pm on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Privileges 3:58 pm, 24th July 2019

I am grateful to all colleagues who have participated in this very good debate. There was widespread, if not entirely unanimous, recognition that the experiences of women offenders are different. Their motivation to offend, their vulnerabilities, and the impact of sentences on them and their families are different. The risk that women present is lower than that of men. Although I accept the figures that the Minister and Philip Davies cited, I am happy, now that I have found my figures, to share the analysis carried out by the Prison Reform Trust, which led me to the 83% figure. I am afraid that I wrongly suggested that it was a figure from Crest Advisory. It was, in fact, analysis by the Prison Reform Trust. I will write to them, and indeed all Members who participated in the debate, to share that information.

The real lesson that we should take from this debate is that holistic, community-based provision is the most effective way to deal with the vast majority of women offenders, through dedicated, specialist provision. The one message that I want the Minister to take away from the debate is that we must have certain, sustained and adequate funding for a network of women’s centres right across the country. I hope that if he continues as the Minister, he will pursue that agenda. I hope he remains in his role, but if he sadly does not I hope he will pass that message on to his successors.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
has considered the female offender strategy one year on.