House of Commons Library

Women released from prison

Published Monday, October 16, 2017

A Westminster Hall debate on Women released from prison is scheduled for Wednesday 18 October 2017 at 4.30pm. The Member leading the debate is Chris Elmore MP.

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  • It has been noted that it is broadly recognised that a distinct approach is needed to tackle women’s offending.
  • A recent thematic inspection by HM Inspectorate of Probation examined the provision and quality of services in the community for women who offend, including those released from prison. The inspection found a lack of strategic focus on women and expressed concerns about funding of services and a lack of suitable available accommodation.
  • The Secretary of State has a duty, set out in the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014, to ensure that contracts or other arrangements providing for the supervision or rehabilitation of offenders must comply with the public sector equality duty in the specific context of female offenders.
  • A Supreme Court judgment in February 2017 made a declaration that the provision of approved premises (previously known as probation hostels and bail hostels) in England and Wales constitutes direct discrimination against women, which is unlawful unless justified in accordance with that Act. The Court said that no such justification had yet been shown by the Secretary of State.
  • The Government has said it will publish a female offenders strategy in due course. 

Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0181

Authors: Jacqueline Beard; Sally Lipscombe; Grahame Allen; Maria Lalic; Sarah Pepin

Topics: Alternatives to prison, Prisons

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