Main Site         

Government response to Mothers & Prison series

2012 September 22


“For some women, prison is the only sentencing option for the courts – this is right, both in terms of punishment and the need to protect the public.   But we need to ensure that sentencers have a range of options available to them which include robust community sentences and effective interventions in prisons.

“We actively work with women to reduce the risk of reoffending, which means recognising routes into crime and how those routes may differ from male offenders. For example, we know that many female offenders experience domestic violence and emotional abuse.  So we are commissioning programmes of work which address the issues related to domestic violence, in particular self-confidence and healthy relationships.  We also know that women offenders are much more likely than male offenders to ask for help, and this is an important route to reduce re-offending.  There are appropriate community-based services available to support women both on community sentences and following release from custody.

We work hard to minimise the impact on children when parents are incarcerated, particularly mothers.  Mother and baby units allow mothers to maintain bonds with the children in the very early stages of life and women’s prisons provide opportunities for children to visit their mothers in prison at special children and family visits.  Where it is appropriate to do so, women are released temporarily from custody to see their children and maintain important family links. 

There is nevertheless a cohort of children for whom the incarceration of their mother significantly increases their vulnerability which requires a co-ordinated local response led by local authorities together with education, health and social care service providers.

Comments are closed.