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Justice Committee - Women in Prisons

07 May 2021

As of June 2019, the female prison population was 3,800 making up 5% of the total prison population, and the number of females in prison is expected to increase temporarily as a result of the Government’s commitment to 20,000 more police officers.

Female offenders are often among the most vulnerable in society and have varied and complex needs. 

Many experience mental health problems, substance misuse, homelessness, abuse and trauma.

Women are often sentenced to custody for non-violent, low-level but persistent offences, and are often sentenced for short periods.

This inquiry seeks to understand the progress made in addressing female offending and reducing the number of women in custody, since Baroness Jean Corston’s 2007 report ‘A review of women with particular vulnerabilities in the criminal justice system’ and the publication of the Government’s “Female Offender Strategy” 11 years later.

We also seek to understand how well female offenders’ needs are met in custody.

Find out more about the consultation.

Getting Involved

If you are interested in contributing to this, please submit your comments using the response form below to [email protected]

The deadline for commenting is the end of play on Monday 24 May.

Please note:

  • The society will only produce ONE response to any consultation.
  • Any response that goes under the society logo MUST be signed off by the relevant Board Chair and Branch Chair in the case of Devolved Nations.
  • Responses on behalf of particular Divisions / Faculties / Member Networks are not permitted under any circumstances.
  • Please do refer to the British Psychological Society Consultation Processes document which is attached before writing and sending any comments
  • Please ensure that all comments are based on Published Evidence and not solely on clinical opinion


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