Barbara Keeley MP

LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

Barbara welcomes plans to reform sentencing and conditions for women offenders

headandshouldersBarbara has welcomed the Government’s pledge to introduce a series of measures to improve conditions for women in the criminal justice system.

Concerns had developed about conditions for women offenders in prisons such as Styal prison. Baroness Jean Corston conducted a review and found that found that the criminal justice system is not receptive enough to women’s needs, with inappropriate sentencing, poor monitoring and little provision for women’s specific health concerns.

Barbara, who is chair of the group of Labour women MPs, recently called for a better use of community sentences for women during Justice Questions in the House of Commons. The Government has now promised to adopt these proposals, and has announced measures to improve community provision.

Barbara said:

“I welcome the Government’s timely response to the Corston Report. 70% of women in prison have sentences of less than a year, yet their sentences affect more than 18,000 children each year . Also, healthcare and other essential services in prison often fail to cater for women’s specific needs.

"I know from the experience of my own constituents that women can be sentenced to prison when a community sentence would be more appropriate. I am therefore pleased that the Government is committed to a better use of community sentencing for women who don’t need to go to prison.

"Offenders should always be punished, but it is important that they are punished appropriately. Women in prison can have different needs to men, due to their caring commitments . It is vital that the criminal justice system is receptive to women’s family commitments, and I am pleased that the Government has approved these important reforms.”

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