Responding to today’s (15 July) report by the Justice Select Committee on women in the penal system, Andrew Neilson, Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said:
“As the Ministry of Justice rushes through privatisation plans in the teeth of last week’s tagging scandal and evidence of market failure, today’s damning report adds to the weight of concern surrounding the government’s probation reforms.
“The justice select committee is clear that the crucial and different needs of women are being ignored by the steamroller of payment by results. Handing over probation to big private security firms is being given greater priority than making sure women in the justice system have the specialist support they need.
“The priority should be on reducing the number of women given ineffective short prison sentences – with more community sentences for women and small residential centres made available. These cost-effective measures would cut crime and turn women’s lives around.”