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

Our research listings

Research Papers and Briefings

At the end of their year on the Griffins Society Fellowship Programme, Fellows produce a 10,000 word Research Paper on their findings. Research Papers are available here to view or download as a PDF (the size of each file is given).  

For all papers you will find the REPORT IN FULL, and also a single-page ABSTRACT.  For more recent papers, an EXECUTIVE SUMMARY is also available.

Fellows' research can be freely copied and distributed as long as the author and the Griffins Society are credited.


 

Exploring the impact of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 on women involved in the criminal justice system

Author: 
Alice Moore
Published: 
2018

In 2014, legislation was introduced in Wales that placed new obligations on local authorities to prevent homelessness. If effective, the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 (hereafter referred to as the Act) should provide greater assistance and support to households not considered 'in priority need'. However, the Act also removed priority need status for prison leavers, meaning local authorities no longer have an automatic duty to secure accommodation for people released from prison homeless. In the initial years after the introduction of the Act, and at a time when homelessness is on the rise, this report provides an insight into whether this housing policy is 'fit for purpose' for women leaving – and often returning to – prison and provides recommendations for how policy and practice can be improved to better support them.

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Resettlement experiences of street sex-working women on release from prison

Author: 
Hazel Renouf
Published: 
2017

This research explores the lived experiences of resettlement for street sex-working women alongside the views of professionals from community-based projects that have supported this group in their transitions from custody to the community. The study considers the challenges facing women on the day they leave prison and also the wider resettlement process: what preparation and planning takes place prior to release and the experiences and difficulties encountered by women once they have returned to life in the community.

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Time after Time: A study of women's transitions from custody

Author: 
Jean O'Neill
Published: 
2016

This study stems from the author’s work as a manager with the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI), with particular responsibility for the INSPIRE Women’s Project. The research explores the transition of women from prison into the community through the women’s own accounts — within the context of Northern Ireland — and tests the view that, if women can sustain periods in the community following release beyond twelve weeks, the likelihood of successful re-integration is improved. The research used a longitudinal qualitative methodology centered on in-depth, life history interviews with women pre- and post-custody.

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Sentencing women: Considering the factors that influence decision-making through interviews with sentencers & probation officers

Author: 
Matina Marougka
Published: 
2012

It is widely thought that women are disproportionate imprisoned in comparison to their male counterparts. It might be expected that this would have changed following publication of the Corston Report (Home Office, 2007) but there has been little research about the sentencing of women since Corston. This research project is based on interviews with judges, magistrates and probation officers in order to explore the factors that influence decision-making when sentencing women; and what sentencers take into account when they sentence or remand women to custody. The research also explores the interviewees’ awareness of women-specific needs and gender-specific community resources - and the influence that this knowledge may have on the sentencing process. Interviewees were also invited to comment on how they use community options and prison remand for women.

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'Score, smoke, back on the beat': an exploration of the impact of homelessness on exiting street sex working in Manchester

Author: 
Louise Sandwith
Published: 
2011

The purpose of this research was to explore how and why women get into sex work and the factors which lead them to continue. The research looked at the issues for women wanting to exit sex work - and considered, in particular, homelessness and how this impacts upon the choices available. The research was undertaken using qualitative methods comprising interviews with women working in the industry and with accommodation providers.

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Female offenders in a rural environment: access to community support agencies

Author: 
Fiona Perez
Published: 
2007

The key question raised by this research is 'to what extent does living in a rural area impact on the successful resettlement of female offenders and the specific disadvantages that they face’. The research examines how aspects of rural crime may differ from urban crime, and the particular difficulties female offenders in a rural environment face when complying with a court order or prison licence. The main focus of the research is the availability and accessibility of community based partnerships and agencies in rural areas. The research is based on interviews with eighteen women who were interviewed in the probation office where they reported – five in Carlisle, eight in Barrow-in-Furness, four in Whitehaven and one in Workington. Key-workers from various agencies were also interviewed and the problems of delivering a service to offenders in rural areas discussed

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On detention: The use of prison for girls aged under 18

Author: 
Sarah Clarke
Published: 
2007

The objective of this project was to examine the processes that assist with effective resettlement for juvenile girls with specific reference to the work of the Rivendell Unit* by: • identifying the concerns that young women and staff have about effective resettlement specifically in terms of gender; • identifying successful current practice for this group in resettlement; • identifying barriers to effective resettlement; and • charting the experience of resettlement for these young women and follow-up issues over a set period of time.

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Exploring provisions for women in approved premises

Author: 
Gilliam McLeish
Published: 
2005

This study explores female need and provision within Approved Premises settings, primarily the particular needs of female residents/offenders including bailees, probationers and licensees. The study examines the structure of support to help women regain control of their lives, to empower them to progress to the next stage, ie. semi independent/independent living. It aims to highlight the strengths, weaknesses and, effectiveness of regimes in reducing offending for women; and to identify any gaps which exist. NB. The term Approved Premises refers to (Home Office) defined standards of practice.

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'What Works' with women who offend: A service user's perspective. Exploring the synthesis between what women want and what women get

Author: 
Rebecca Clarke
Published: 
2004

The aim of this project was to explore the relationship between what women in the criminal justice system want and need to desist from further offending, and what criminal justice and other associated agencies provide. A review of the literature exploring these issues, together with the information generated from the women’s accounts of their experiences, form the evidence contained in the full report.

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Life on Life Licence: a follow-up to report 2002/01 - Resettlement issues facing female lifers

Author: 
Rachel Chapman
Published: 
2004

Griffins Research Paper 2002/01 is the report of a study of the resettlement issues facing women lifers before release. This follow-up research focussed on the women’s actual experience of release: • to explore whether the women had been adequately prepared for release and whether they received sufficient support to assist with their reintegration into the community; and • to consider whether the reality of release corresponded with the women’s expectations before release.

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Resettlement issues facing female lifers

Author: 
Rachel Chapman
Published: 
2002

Women offenders face particular challenges on resettlement into the community and although some issues will be the same for all women prisoners, women lifers face distinct issues and these are often overlooked. In particular, a lifer will only be released when she has convinced the Parole Board that she is a sufficiently low risk to be managed in the community. An essential aspect of this assessment is the release plan and whether it provides sufficient support for effective reintegration. Resettlement is, therefore, of particular significance to women lifers because it can impact on their chance of being released and of being recalled. The purpose of this study was to research the range of resettlement issues facing women lifers from a legal perspective. The focus was women lifers’ preparation for release in the context of the life sentence; the parole board process and the life licence.

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