top of page
Adults'
All features
Training
Children's

New support for female offenders struggling with addiction and mental health issues

The Ministry of Justice has announced £24 million for services that work with women in justice system.

04/09/22

New support for female offenders struggling with addiction and mental health issues

New government funding has been announced for women in the justice system struggling with addiction, mental health issues and domestic violence.

Research has found that more than six in ten women in prison have experienced domestic abuse – and half have drug addictions. Tackling the root causes of female offending and providing vulnerable women with early support is a “key part” of the government’s Female Offender Strategy, with many women who commit low-level crimes being driven by underlying factors such as substance abuse, trauma or difficulty in getting a job.

The Ministry of Justice announced last week that almost £21 million will now be invested in women’s services to tackle the causes of female offending and cut crime.

Working Chance, a charity dedicated to getting women with convictions into work, is one of the charities that will use the investment to support offenders who are serving a community sentence or have recently been released from prison and may be at risk of reoffending. The support, which can range from help to find a job or support with drug and alcohol abuse, is hoped to provide stability in getting their lives back on track.

Researchers estimate that without specialist support in the community half of women who have been in prison will go on to reoffend.

A further £3.6 million will be allocated to help local services, such as mental health support and drug experts, work more closely together to support female offenders. This will include funding local coordinator roles, who would help to bring government and third sector organisations together to provide a better service.

Prisons Minister Stuart Andrew said female offenders are too often driven into crime by poor mental health, drug addiction or abuse.

“This investment will make sure we support women facing these problems away from crime and into the help they need to get their lives back on track,” the Minister said.

Katie, 39, who spent 6 months in prison and has been helped through Working Chance, said that the support provided to her was instrumental in getting back into employment.

“Mounting debt and mental health issues all contributed towards my offending, but I was determined to take responsibility and start getting my life back on track.

“Working Chance gave me the support needed to rewrite my CV, prepare for interviews and the confidence to disclose my convictions to potential employers.”

In addition to the extra funding, the government is also piloting a Residential Women’s Centre in Swansea to reduce the number of women sent to prison. Female offenders at the centre will receive one-to-one mental health therapy and counselling to address their trauma from previous abuse and support to overcome substance misuse.

There are also plans to pilot a new Problem-Solving Court targeted at women with complex needs, including drug and alcohol abuse.

Female offenders sentenced at the court will see the same judge or bench of magistrates for regular reviews, receive intensive support and supervision from the Probation Service and have access to services for drug and alcohol abuse, and support with housing, training and employment.

Read more about the Female Offender Strategy: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/female-offender-strategy

Paint on Face

Gloucestershire County Council

Deputy Team Manager

Job of the week

Sign up for an informal interview for this role today

£45,441 - £48,474

SWT_SideAd1.png

Featured event

Social World Podcast

Podcast

30 Jan 2024

Instant access

Featured jobs

Barnardo's

Supervising Social Worker

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Health and Justice Court Practitioner - Social Worker/AHP

SWT_Online_Events_ad.png

Most popular articles today

One in three parents at risk of having babies removed have learning difficulties or disabilities

One in three parents at risk of having babies removed have learning difficulties or disabilities

Parents in substance use services need better care integration, research finds

Parents in substance use services need better care integration, research finds

Reflective supervision ‘best practice guide’ launches in Edinburgh

Reflective supervision ‘best practice guide’ launches in Edinburgh

First trial of new suicide prevention intervention designed for autistic people

First trial of new suicide prevention intervention designed for autistic people

Sponsored Content

What's new today:

Supporting social work students with additional needs during their placement

bottom of page