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Prison Sentences: Females

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 5240, tabled on 21 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average length of time spent in prison by women has been since March 2020.

Answered on

1 June 2021

The table below shows for each quarter the average (mean) number of months, women who were released in that quarter, served in prison including on remand.


Jan-March 2020

April-June 2020

July-September 2020

October-December 2020

Mean time served including remand in months





Source: Prison releases October to December 2020, Table 3.2i.

The Female Offender Strategy (2018) committed to working towards fewer women serving short custodial sentences with a greater proportion managed successfully in the community. Our Strategy commitment to pilot residential women’s centres, with the first to be located in south Wales, is a key part of this work. We are piloting a Problem-Solving Court approach in up to five locations for certain community and suspended sentence orders. The aim of this is to support offenders who could be both prolific and vulnerable to complete their sentences in the community. Female offenders will be one area of focus given the high proportion who receive short prison sentences, building on the promising outcomes of Manchester’s women’s Problem-Solving Court.