Jailed women to be near home

Female inmates will serve their sentences closer to home and will be offered skills to help find work upon their release under new reforms revealed today.

Vicky Pryce: Female prisoners have 'special needs'

Economist Vicky Pryce, who spent two months in prison earlier this year, has said that women behind bars have "special needs".

She said it was not a case of making prison "softer" for female offenders, but of minimising the wider impact and costs on society.

Pryce was sentenced to eight months in prison in March for perverting the course of justice by taking speeding points for her former husband Chris Huhne in 2003.

Watch: Vicky Pryce: UK prison system not fit for purpose

Read: Vicky Pryce: Prison had a 'positive' effect

Labour: Govt prison plan is 'tinkering around the edges'

Labour's shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan has described the government's prison reforms as "tinkering around the edges" of the problem.

Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan
Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan

Khan told Daybreak that it should be investing in more women's treatment centres and more smaller prisons. He said in an earlier statement: "With only a small number of scattered women’s prisons, the concept of local resettlement is almost meaningless."

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Plans to stop women returning to prison

When a female offender walks out of the prison gates, I want to make sure she never returns.

Keeping female prisoners as close as possible to their homes, and importantly their children, is vital if we are to help them break the pernicious cycle of re-offending.

And providing at least a year of support in the community, alongside the means to find employment on release, will give them the best possible chance to live productive, law abiding lives.

– Justice minister Lord McNally

Government bid to tackle reoffending in women

The new plan to try and tackle female offending is being set out to work alongside Transforming Rehabilitation reforms in which every offender receives 12 months of tailored support as they leave prison.

With the aim of trying to cut reoffending and trigger further falls in the female prison population, a new open unit at HMP Styal is to focus on helping women into jobs on release.

Several reports to be published later today, including The Government's response to the Justice Select Committee report on Women Offenders: After the Corston Report and the NOMS Women's Custodial Estate Review, are set to help feed in to the new approach towards tackling female offending.

Female prisoners to serve sentences closer to home

Female inmates will serve their sentences closer to home and will be offered skills to help find work upon their release under new reforms revealed.

Under the proposals, low risk offenders will be encouraged to undertake practical training so they can seek employment following their jail term.

Female inmates will serve their sentences closer to home and will be offered skills to help find work upon their release. Credit: PA Wire

The reforms, unveiled by Justice minister Lord McNally, who is also the minister for female offenders, call for all women's prisons to become resettlement prisons so that women are close to home and are re-integrated into society.

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: "Trying to improve women's imprisonment would be a waste when the best way to reduce women's offending is to invest in treatment for addictions, mental healthcare, training for work and safe housing away from domestic violence and abuse."