We sponsor research to bring about change in how women and girls are dealt with in the criminal justice system

Missing Voices: Why women engage with, or withdraw from, community sentences

Author: 
Sue Jordan
Published: 
2013

Baroness Corston noted the ‘high rate’ of women in custody for breach and Hedderman calculated that a large proportion of the 60% of women imprisoned under the umbrella of ‘other offences’, will be there for breaching community sentences. Despite the interest in the subject, there appears to be little available research. This project was therefore undertaken to investigate the following issues: • What are the main barriers to women engaging with community orders and are there clear patterns that are not recognised by contemporary practice? • Are the aims of community orders understood and/or shared by the women involved? • Does the rigidity of structure inherent in these orders affect women differently? The research is based on interviews with women serving sentences for breach of community orders (including suspended sentence orders) in HMP New Hall and the Together Women Project in Hull. Whilst this research is small-scale in scope, it is hoped that the findings will inspire more extensive research in the future.

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