Event Information!
  • Published by marie marie
  • 23rd March

About the Event

The UK has one of the highest female imprisonment rates in Western Europe. Government and third sector organisations have both argued that female offenders are amongst the most vulnerable in the criminal justice system (CJS). Women are much more likely than men to self-harm whilst in prison. In 2020, women made up 22% of all self-harm incidents despite making up 4% of the prison population. There was also a 7% rise in the rate of self-harm incidents in women’s prisons in the year to March 2022. Since 2011, 97 women have died in prisons in England and Wales, with 37 of these deaths being self-inflicted. Women are also more likely to be victims as well as offenders, with almost 60% of women in prison having experienced domestic violence, according to the Ministry of Justice. Around two thirds of women prisoners have dependent children, and studies show how separation through imprisonment leads to a disorganised attachment pattern in around 80% of such children. An estimated 17,000 children are affected by maternal imprisonment each year. There are also questions around the suitability of prisons for many female offenders. Over 80% of sentenced women entering prison have been convicted of non-violent offences, and most serve short sentences (six months or less) that campaigners argue serve little benefit. Many also offend as a way to resolve practical difficulties, such as drug addiction, unemployment, unsuitable accommodation, debt and an abusive partner.