Alternatives to Prison

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 30th November 2021.

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Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 87 of the Justice Select Committee's report on Prison Population 2022, published in March 2019, whether his Department has made an assessment of the savings that could be achieved by moving from prison to community support; and if he will place a copy of that assessment in the Library.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister for Afghan resettlement

The Ministry of Justice has not made a detailed assessment of possible savings of moving from prison to community support illustrated by the case study on page 87 of the Justice Select Committee’s report. However, the Female Offender Strategy, published in June 2018, noted that Government had estimated that female offenders cost the public purse approximately £1.7bn in 2015/16, including estimated police costs of c.£1bn. This excluded wider social costs, such as the cost of intergenerational offending. The Government recognises that community sentences offer the opportunity to support women to effectively address the underlying causes of offending behaviour and to secure and maintain stable accommodation. We have several initiatives underway that are looking to encourage use of robust community sentences as an alternative to custody for women, including Problem Solving Courts, Community Sentence Treatment Requirements, Electronic Monitoring and a Pre-Sentence Report pilot, as well as our plans to open a first Residential Women’s Centre in Wales.

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