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									Women Offenders: the National Context




November 11 2009
Ruth Power, Project Manager, NOMS South West
ruth.power@justice.gov.uk
Content




 1. Profile of Women Offenders


 2. Drivers for Change - Corston Report


 3. Background to Eden House
1. Profile of Women Offenders

• 5% of prison population; majority on short sentences

• Only 3% assessed as high risk of harm (11% men)
• 68% in prison for non-violent offences (47% men)

• 80% have diagnosable mental health disorders
• 36 x more likely to commit suicide on release than general population
• 50% experienced domestic violence; 1 in 3 sexual abuse
• 20% have been in care; less than half can read as well as an 11yr old

• National OASys data indicates women:
  - have multiple needs that underlie their offending
  - are more likely to have a financial motivation for offending
  - are more likely to have offending needs relating to relationships,
    emotional well-being and skills and employment.
2. Drivers for Change

The Corston Report, and subsequent reports such as the SETF Short Study on
Women Offenders (2009), have highlighted:


 • the complex needs and different offending patterns of women offenders


 • the negative outcomes that can result from custody


 • the opportunity to utilise and develop lower cost, more effective community
   based alternatives


 • the need for a CJS response to the Gender Equality Duty


 • the potential for reducing crime by the children of offenders.
               Corston Recommendations

Examples:

 • Reserve custody for women who pose a risk to public

 • Reconfigure the women’s prison estate

 • Provide a holistic response to women’s needs, with a new focus on
   addressing women’s experiences of abuse, domestic violence, rape
   and involvement in prostitution

 • Use of women’s centres for court & police diversions, as part of
   community sentence, delivering probation & other programmes.
                   Government Response


•40 out of 43 recommendations accepted

•Implementation to date has included:
    Ministerial champion for women in the CJS
    Established dedicated unit within MoJ (CJ Women’s Strategy Unit)
     New guidance to prisons and probation on working with women
      offenders.
     £15.6m funding for community provision in England and Wales

•Regular Ministerial updates on implementation.
3. Background to Eden House


• Unique, national demonstrator in Bristol


• Funded by MoJ with support from local partners


                          Vision
     A service that engages women in making positive
   changes to their lives – reducing their propensity to
      offend & increasing their access to mainstream
                 services & opportunities.
                       Project Aims include:

1. Piloting a local, partnership based approach to prevent & reduce women’s
   offending
2. Providing a range of credible options that reduce the no. of women becoming
   engaged in the CJS & / or going into custody

3. Addressing individual needs of women at risk of offending across 9 pathways
4. Building the capacity of mainstream agencies to understand & respond to this
   vulnerable group

5. Reducing crime, & the harm caused by crime, within Bristol

6. Identifying good practice in reducing women’s offending & diverting women from
   custody
7. Estimating the costs & savings arising, for both MoJ & wider stakeholders.
Developing a Local Solution:
Eden House Demonstration Project




November 11 2009
Service Manager - sarah.smith@avon-somerset.probation.gsi.gov.uk
Content



 1. Delivery Model


 2. Eligibility & Referrals


 3. Story So Far


 4. Planned Outcomes
1. Delivery Model
                                             Eden
Referral                                                                     Next
                                             House
Agencies                                                                     Steps
                                            Services


                                            Residential                    Housing
 Prison                                                                    Options

                             Support Plan




                                                            Exit Plan
                    Assess
           Screen




 Local                                                                   Mainstream
                                               Day                        Services
  CJS

                                                                         Mainstream
 Other                                      Outreach                    Opportunities


                                                  Volunteering Opportunities /
                                                      Mentoring Support
2. Eligibility

Women aged 18 years and over who:
• Have some motivation to address their offending
• Are medium to very high risk of (re)offending
• Have unmet needs that relate to their offending
• Live within / returning from custody to Bristol
• Can be safely managed by one of services at Eden House
Referral Agencies

• HMP   Eastwood Park & wider female prison estate
• Avon & Somerset Probation
• Integrated Offender Management
• Criminal Justice Intervention Team
• Women living in BASS properties/ being supported by
  BASS (women on HDC & Bail)
• Court based services e.g. BIO, CARS women’s worker
    Subject to capacity, direct referrals from local Police, other
 statutory and voluntary agencies may be accepted in the future.
3. Story So Far
Examples of what is on offer at Eden House
•Benefits and debt advice
•Housing options surgeries - Bristol City Council
•Drugs counselling - Bristol Drugs Project / Nilaari (BME provider)
• Support for children and families - Barnardos
• Life skills development e.g. lunch club, Amber Practical Housing Units,
money management group
• Activities and group work to build confidence, self-esteem, social skills
and motivation to change
• Help with employment and skills e.g. accredited training. ASPA
•Practical help with childcare & travel costs
•Support to access community provision e.g. registering with GP,
accessing services for victims of abuse
•On-site probation or BASS appointments
Snapshot of First Service Users

Day and Outreach Referrals (from mid Aug 09) = 19
Residential Referrals (from Oct 09) = 9

Pathway                                   % age of Service Users with Need
Accommodation                             82%
Finance, Benefit & Debt                   76%
Employment & Skills                       70%
Drugs & Alcohol                           100%
Health                                    58%
Attitudes, Thinking & Behaviour           82%
Children & Families                       76%
Abuse, Rape, Domestic Violence            94%
Involvement in sex work                   18%
4. Planned Outcomes
During funding period:
•An average of 150 women per annum will be referred to the project &
undertake a needs assessment each year

•80% of referrals who have undertaken an assessment will be converted
into service users

•In addition, 36 ex-residents will be offered support after move on

•100 women will consistently engage with the project

•Caseload mix of 85% women subject to statutory supervision & 15%
not subject to statutory supervision

•The diversity of service users that reflects local demographics

								
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