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Prisoners' Release: Women

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL5788, tabled on 22 February 2023

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that women released from prison (1) that have served a short sentence, and (2) that were not sentenced following remand, receive support from the Probation Service.

Answered on

6 March 2023

One of the strategic aims of the Female Offender Strategy Delivery Plan 2022-25 (Jan 2023) is to protect the public through better outcomes for women on release. We will work to reduce reoffending rates for women leaving custody, focusing on what we know works: a home, a job and access to treatment for substance misuse.

Contracts for holistic rehabilitative services for women deliver bespoke and specialist support to sentenced women (including those that have served short sentences) after their release from prison. These services support women to meet their resettlement and rehabilitative needs, including: help to find accommodation; help to find education, training or employment; support to meet finance, benefit and debt-related needs; help to address dependency issues; support to improve relationships with family or significant others; and support for their emotional wellbeing and social inclusion. These services are available post-release to all women who are subject to Probation supervision and we continue to explore how we might support those released unsentenced.

All women in prison, including those on remand, are supported to meet their immediate resettlement needs and prepare for release by probation staff in prisons and maintain accommodation whilst in prison respectively. This includes sustaining accommodation on reception where possible, making referrals for accommodation and signposting women towards specialist advice for finance and debt support.

A Short Sentence Function is being implemented in all regions which will work with all people on probation with ten months or fewer to serve in prison. This will enable them to be fast tracked and offered direct engagement.