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Prisoners: Women

Volume 707: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the new duty to promote gender equality or existing sex discrimination legislation or both allow differential treatment for women prisoners. [HL902]

The Government are satisfied that the gender equality duty and other existing legislation allows differential treatment for women to ensure equal outcomes for both genders. It was on this basis that the National Offender Management Service issued Gender Specific Standards for women prisoners in April 2008 with a view of their implementation in all women's prisons by 1 April 2009. HM Prison Service is now carrying out gender equality impact assessments of new policies affecting both genders.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will provide additional financial resources to women's penal policy; and, if so, whether they will publish the amount to be provided (or the date when this will be published) and details of how those additional financial resources will be used. [HL903]

The Government committed in December to provide additional resourcing to divert vulnerable women, who are not serious or dangerous offenders, from custody. The resources will be used to build capacity of one-stop-shop services and to further develop bail support services to better meet the needs of women. A further announcement will be made once final arrangements have been agreed.