Do we send too many women to prison?
originally by: York Press
published: 13 November 2012
We’ve been asked by the Prison Reform Trust (@prtUK) to find out what Mumsnetters think about women and prison.
Over 10,000 women were imprisoned in England and Wales in 2011, more than double the number 15 years ago. Eighty-one per cent of women sentenced to prison are there for non-violent offences.
New Ministry of Justice figures show that the self-harm rate for women prisoners is over ten times higher than for men. Over half of women in prison report having experienced domestic violence and one-third sexual abuse.
Over 17,240 children were separated from mothers serving time in 2010. An estimated two babies are born in English prisons every week, although data is no longer collected centrally.
In a YouGov poll, launched today by the Prison Reform Trust, treatment for drug and alcohol misuse and mental healthcare were the top solutions to get public backing for reducing non-violent offending by women.
Government research concludes that community sentences are more effective than short prison terms. Independent research shows that community women’s centres provide a safe place for women to address underlying problems while maintaining care of their children.