Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Women in prison

The Government have declared that women should only be imprisoned if they are violent offenders. Out of the 4,000 odd currently detained, this means that 97% should not be there.

Following this reasoning, the government then says that it will shut 400 prison places for women. I will repeat that. Rather than closing all EXCEPT 400 places, it is closing ONLY 400 prison places.

Um, this doesn't make sense. Is it me that is stupid, or the Ministry of Justice?

Answers on a postcard to Jack Straw.


  1. Judging by what one knows about the management of other things e.g. IPP short tariff sentences - it is the MoJ.

  2. for that matter, *why* should they be imprisoned only if they are violent offenders? and whatever the reason given is, how on earth does that *not* also apply to *male* prisoners?!

  3. That's a good point @lee.

    The system is clearly pretty terminally stuffed and people are randomly and unjustly incarcerated by undemocratic systems and people for indeterminate amounts of time for no clear reason. It amuses me in an academic way that now we're discussing the point that it's sexism if the same system isn't applied to women!

    Perhaps we should give the justice system the credit for not actually following through on their own flawed stated rhetorhic this time, by failing to follow through on their own word, in the way Ben makes so clear, they are actually perpetuating some form of equality of mistreatment in the whole system!

    Sorry, not taking the mick out of you, nor making light of the sickening and indefensible situation, the juxtaposition just amused me.


  4. Not sure where i stand on this: as a childless ex woman prisoner, part of me feels you should not lock a woman up who has a child, ( in 99% of cases, as it causes more problems than it solves, there is after all community service option, the other part of me knows some of these women need to use prison as a detox, and would be dead if they didn't get the chance sooner or later. Food for thought.

  5. shouldn't we be sophisticated enough to distinguish between those who need detox and those who have less easily identifiable challenges and act accordingly?