As part of the Female Offender Strategy, we are committed to working with local and national partners to develop a ‘Residential Women’s Centre’ pilot in at least five sites across England and Wales. We have recently concluded our first phase of consultation with stakeholders, partners and providers. This has included close working with colleagues across Welsh government on any Wales-specific implications and requirements, as well as engagement with providers of women’s services in Wales. The Welsh Government also has representation on our Advisory Board for Female Offenders, which scrutinises the work of the Female Offender programme and the implementation of the Female Offender Strategy.
Whilst no decisions regarding the locations of the Residential Women’s Centre pilot have been made, we appreciate the need to ensure adequate provision of women’s support services in Wales. I have discussed this issue with Jane Hutt AM, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, and look forward to continuing discussions with our Welsh partners on how best to achieve this.
HMPPS in Wales have also been working with colleagues in Welsh Government to develop a draft blueprint for justice services for women that reflects the landscape in Wales. This will outline a vision to enable devolved and non-devolved services to work together to deliver efficient and effective services that will deliver positive outcomes for individuals and the community and considers alternatives to custody for women in Wales, including women’s centres.
The blueprint development work has been discussed with the All Wales Criminal Justice Board, which includes Welsh Local Government Association representation.