28 July 2021
In our submission we argue that progress on reducing the women’s prison population is glacial. Although there is a massive amount of evidence and significant agreement about what reduces women’s offending, this is not being translated into policy or practice. Real progress requires leadership, political will and significant investment.
We outline the need for better data and evaluation of the effectiveness of education and a coordinated education strategy. We argue for a whole person approach to education for women in prison. This would include developing family learning opportunities, embedding a-informed approach, increasing the use of technology and supporting women who have additional learning needs more effectively.
We also highlight that HMPPS and the MoJ need to better understand the process of supporting women so that they can successfully access education and employment. Many women in prison need to build self- esteem and confidence and find security and identity before participating in prison activities. Prisons can support women’s life chances by better links to employers, apprenticeship providers and education institutions, both inside prison and on release.
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