The Government are committed to diverting vulnerable women, who are not serious or dangerous offenders, from custody. Our strategy is to strengthen services in the community, tackling the complex needs of women who offend and offering viable alternatives to custody; and to ensure that those who do go to prison are treated in ways that are informed by their needs and are gender sensitive.
In line with this approach this year we have awarded 31 grants to third sector organisations to develop additional services in the community for women offenders or those at risk of offending. The Together Women Projects will also continue to meet the multiple and complex needs of women in the community.
Along side this the National Offender Management Service implemented new full search arrangements that take a risk-based approach reducing the frequency of full searches. In addition, gender specific standards which ensure an appropriate response to women prisoners were implemented in all women’s prisons this year.
A full progress update will be made to Parliament this December.