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Friday, 15 October 2010

Ever thought of the women enduring pain in prisons? I have seen how televised media report differently on women who commit crimes, serials on TV and written articles portray women besmirched when they’re labelled as offenders. Society overlooks how women in prisons are perceived and treated when they leave to resettle back in the community. Is there justification to allow women in society to be tarnished for crimes and their impact on communities?

It was interested to review the work of Women in Prison; on the services provided to support women offenders and ex offenders. Women should be offered community sentences rather than prison as an alternative? Women require assistance in housing, education, legal rights, debt management, complicated benefit and welfare information; to manage family care whilst in prison. 

I’m interesting to seek views on their promoted services and what support infrastructures are readily available. For these women who find themselves in prison is there hope? However far too quick are many judgmental and not addressing the impact on society in the long term to address wider big society issues which is the topic of debate to everyone’s tongues.


Why do women find it harder to be accepted when released from prisons? They have served and carried out their sentences, surely society can give them another chance to redeem themselves through employment and education? Female prisoners have no voting rights either whilst in prison hidden from the world, these women also tend to be remanded in prisons far too swiftly, rather than been offered bail support, families and children are affected by the change to retaining women in prisons, and consideration is barely given with adequate support provided to these women who commit crimes.

This is not taking a moral high ground but understanding how prisons and behaviour is managed as part of the wider social impact. They are often imprisoned for minor breaches, whilst community sentences are widely available, not given enough emphasis.  Are we to blame the Criminal Justice System or society? Women are threatened with imprisonment in prostitution areas; authorities embrace the idea they are serving the communities needs by threatening these women.

There’s no excuses made but we do need to collectively look at society and how we support resettlement for vulnerable women who may have additional drug related problems, alcohol and require rehabilitation and medication. I clearly recall the site visit to Holloway prison, London female captives tucked inside, these women talked to me on their experiences of prison and how some re-offended to return to the establishment for their safety and security. They were in familiar grounds and re-offending to return to what they know safe haven, their close friends and relationships including their comfort zone with local prison officers.


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