Khulisa’s response to the LAPCC’s investigation into women offenders in London

Women make up a small proportion of the overall number of offenders in London. Women offenders are, however, a distinct group that often have very specific needs in relation to preventing offending and rehabilitation. The Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan specifically refers to women offenders as a target group for reducing reoffending, making commitments to divert low-risk women from formal criminal justice processes; to expand access to specialist women’s centres and to develop a new Female Offender Service.

To understand the provision and impact of specialist support services for women offenders in London, the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee issued a call for written responses to support their investigation into women offenders in London.

In our response we argue that existing services for women offenders are insufficient. Women offenders have complex needs, having often been victims of crime themselves, yet both within prison and in the community there are a lack of programmes to develop their emotional and social skills, and lay the foundations for employment or further education. We advocate for increased investment in and support for holistic services for women offenders that involve collaboration between public and third sector partners in health, criminal justice, housing and employment to address this group’s specific needs.

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