Women prison estate to be cut
Thousands of women criminals will avoid jail each year under plans to cut the number of cell spaces by 400.
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
Published: 6:45PM GMT 14 Dec 2009
The move, to be staggered over the next three years, will see the size of the women's prison estate cut by around ten per cent and could see entire jails closed down.
It is part of the ongoing policy by Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, to reduce the number of women being jailed and increase the use of community penalties.
Mr Straw said only the most serious female criminals should be behind bars.
There are currently just over 4,800 prison places for women in England and Wales but under the Ministry of Justice plans, 300 will be cut by March 2011 and a further 100 will go by March the following year.
The savings will be spent on improving services to deal with women offenders in the community. The MoJ also announced £5 million to improve Approved Premises accommodation for women offenders who are being closely supervised on release from custody and £1 million to pilot a new project, from April 2010, to examine early intervention schemes for women when they first come in to contact with the criminal justice system.
Maria Eagle, the Justice minister, said: “We have already made good progress in taking forward our strategy to divert women from crime.
"Over the last two years I have ensured there is a specific push to direct resources to stop vulnerable women from becoming trapped in a cycle of crime.
"Women’s offending is a complex phenomenon which burden’s society, damage children and families, and creates misery for the women themselves."
I knew the UK was pussywhipped but I didn't think it was this bad. I believe it was British feminists who desired to exempt women from prison reserving that hell for men and now we see that become a reality. Gordon Brown has royally cut the balls off Britain.