Prison Sentences: Females

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 15th May 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many women the Metropolitan police force area received an immediate custodial sentence of (a) less than and (b) more than six months for each category of offence from the (i) crown courts and (ii) magistrates courts in 2018-19.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The number of female offenders sentenced to custody by court level and police force area, including the metropolitan police force area, in 2017, can be found in the Court outcomes by Police Force Area data tool, which can be found at the below link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-december-2017

Select the drop down boxes referring to custodial sentence length in order to establish sentence lengths. Select female from the sex drop box and, once having done this, young adults and adults to establish women. Offence classification can be found in both the Offence Type and Offence group boxes, depending on which categorisation is required here.

Court proceedings data for 2018 are planned for publication on 16 May 2019, with data for 2019 planned for publication in May 2020.

Our vision, as set out in our Female Offender Strategy, is to see fewer women coming into the criminal justice system and a greater proportion managed successfully in the community. To achieve this, we have invested £5m to support community provision for female offenders and women at risk of offending.

There is persuasive evidence showing community sentences, in certain circumstances, are more effective than short custodial sentences in reducing reoffending. The MoJ study ‘The impact of short custodial sentences, community orders and suspended sentence orders on re-offending’ published in 2015 found that over a 1-year follow up period, a higher proportion of people re-offended having been sentenced to custody of under 12 months without supervision on release than other similar people given community orders.

Unless we tackle the underlying causes of offending, we cannot protect the public from being victims of crime. Effective community orders can address offenders’ behaviour, answer their mental health and alcohol or drug misuse needs, and provide reparation for the benefit of the wider community.

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