This afternoon I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate secured by my Honourable Friend the Member for Stretford and Urmston.
In my speech, I spoke of the importance of Women’s Centres in supporting, educating and counselling women in a suitable environment to prepare them for a future away from the criminal justice system.
Women’s centres are central to the success of the Female Offender Strategy. They make financial sense and they will benefit society as a whole. Not only will female offenders be supported in a trauma-informed environment, but when they complete their sentence they will be in a position to move on with their life with a positive outlook for their future.
At the moment too many women are leaving prison after serving short sentences in dire straits. They are often homeless, unemployable and desperate which is why re-conviction rates are so high for female offenders.
We are in a position now to change things, to reduce short sentences and to improve outcomes for women now and for future generations. We must not ignore our responsibility here – as politicians, as Ministers and as Parliament as a whole – we must ensure that the commitments made in the Female Offender Strategy become a reality.